From 2019 through 2023, the cryptocurrency industry in the U.S. invested a total of $56.44 million in lobbying efforts, according to CoinGecko.
What Happened: So far this year, the crypto industry’s lobbying spending in the U.S. is about $20.2 million, excluding fourth-quarter (Q4) figures.
This amount already represents 19.7% of Wall Street’s lobbying spend, indicating a potential overtaking of 2022’s total and suggesting a growing influence of the crypto industry in Washington.
Up to 78 companies and organizations — including Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z), OKX, Polygon, Solana, and the media brand Discover Crypto (formerly Bitboy Crypto) — are actively advocating for crypto-related matters in Washington, D.C.
From 2019 to 2020, these efforts saw relatively modest spending in crypto lobbying, amounting to about $3 million and $2.5 million, respectively.
These figures represented a mere fraction of Wall Street’s lobbying expenses, at 2.9% and 2.3% for each year, illustrating the crypto industry’s then-limited influence in political circles during a period of bearish market trends.
By 2021, there was a significant uptick in crypto lobbying. Expenses trippled to $8.5 million. Crypto lobbying expenditures make up about 7.2% of Wall Street’s lobbying outlay.
But 2022 set a new record, doubling the previous year’s expenditure with $22.23 million.
Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) is considered the foremost crypto lobbyist in Washington, having expended $7.51 million from 2019 to 2023. The Blockchain Association follows with $5.23 million, and Ripple is in third place with $3.46 million.
Crypto.com, Kraken, Tether, and TaxBit have over $1 million in expenditures, despite starting their efforts only in 2022.
In total, the top 30 crypto lobbying entities account for 82.1% of the entire industry’s lobbying spend over the last five years.
The methodology for this study involved examining U.S. crypto lobbying expenditures from Jan. 1, 2019, to Nov. 13, 2023, excluding Q4 2023.
The data, sourced from OpenSecrets, focused specifically on crypto-related lobbying and excluded cases where crypto issues were lobbied alongside non-crypto matters, as seen with companies like PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL), JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM), and IBM (NYSE: IBM).
Why It Matters: Despite all the funds that the crypto industry puts toward lobbying, U.S. regulators — notably the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — have actually increased their oversight of the industry.
Led by Gary Gensler, the SEC has focused on enforcing securities laws to protect investors, resulting in legal actions against various crypto firms.
This move reflects a broader effort by U.S. authorities, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Reserve, to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, aiming to balance innovation with financial stability and consumer protection.
Produced in association with Benzinga