80 Firms Including MasterCard, Coinbase Spent $42 Mln Lobbying Crypto, Fintech Issues in Q1

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Around half of the 80 lobbying entities included bitcoin and/or blockchain in their areas of interest.

Around 40 entities lobbied for bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain-related causes in the United States in Q1 2019, political news site Roll Call reported on April 30.

Citing data from the Federal Electoral Commission, the publication stated that around half of the 80 lobbying entities included cryptocurrency-related items, with total quarterly lobbying expenditure reaching over $42 million.

Among the biggest spenders who included crypto were accounting giants Ernst & Young and Accenture, while the biggest of all was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which accounted for $16.4 million for fintech lobbying in general. Payment systems firm MasterCard also paid a total of $720,000 for lobbying activities on issues including those related to virtual currencies.

Crypto industry businesses such as Coin Center and cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Coinbase also featured, the latter spending $50,000 on areas including the Bank Secrecy Act.

Broadly speaking, entities seek to influence new or existing laws that create problematic conditions for the new technology, with some focusing on specific legislative projects.

Industry advocacy group the Blockchain Association, for example, is targeting an Ohio bill which plans to exempt cryptocurrencies from securities regulations under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“That’s probably been our biggest focus and it will continue to be our biggest focus for the next couple of months,” Roll Call quotes director of external affairs, Kristin Smith, as saying.

Previous statistics mentioned a total of 33 entities lobbying Washington on blockchain in Q4 of last year.

As Cointelegraph reported, regulation of the crypto space remains a contentious issue in the U.S., with approaches varying widely between states.

Andrew Yang, the 2020 presidential candidate, has promised to unify the patchwork landscape as part of his election manifesto.

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