Binance invested heavily in lobbying before guilty plea

Binance has significantly expanded its investment in lobbying over the last two years, already spending over $1 million between Binance and Binance.US in 2023.

OpenSecrets, which relies on Federal Election Commission disclosures, details how Binance Holdings has invested $850,000 in 2023 so far and Binance.US has invested $340,000. This was an interesting inversion from 2022 where Binance.US led the spending, investing over $1 million into lobbying for Binance.US and only $50,000 for Binance.

These lobbying efforts in 2022 focused on two specific bills — the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act endorsed by Sam Bankman-Fried and the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act. 

Among the lobbying firms retained by Binance.US is FS Vector, and this year it has been retained by other firms important to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, including Dapper Labs, Ava Labs, BankWyse, Block, Chamber of Digital Commerce, and TassatPay

After this investment in lobbying, Binance and its former chief executive officer, Changpeng Zhao, have pleaded guilty to felony crimes related to the firm’s operation. This plea resulted in resolving cases from the Commodities Future Trading Commission, the Office of Foreign Asset Control, and FinCEN. Binance and Binance.US still face a lawsuit from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Read more: Changpeng Zhao resigns from Binance US board, transfers voting rights

Binance is far from the only firm that has invested in new lobbying efforts, with Coinbase spending approximately twice what Binance has, with over $2.1 million spent in 2023. Kraken has spent approximately $888,000 on lobbying so far this year. 

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