The crypto industry spent almost as much on federal lobbying in the first three quarters of this year than it did in the whole of 2022, according to non-profit research group OpenSecrets.
According to the data provided to Reuters, crypto companies splashed $22 million on lobbying efforts last year. This is set to be eclipsed, however, with spending in the first nine months of 2023 hitting just shy of $19 million.
The news is all the more surprising considering that one of last year’s biggest spenders, FTX, has collapsed.
According to the data, US-based exchange Coinbase was the biggest spender, plowing $2.16 million into lobbying. The exchange is followed closely by Crypto.com owner Foris Dax, the Blockchain Association, and Binance Holdings.
According to Reuters, much of the increased spending can likely be attributed to crypto companies doing all they can to fight increasingly negative perceptions of the space after a host of scandals in recent years. Many are also attempting to buy influence in Washington as they look to kick back against an increasingly strict regulatory climate.
Indeed, lobbying efforts kicked into higher gear following Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) action against Coinbase and Binance for allegedly failing to register tokens.
Binance increases lobbying spending
Binance has spent over $1 million on lobbying efforts in 2023, between Binance and Binance US.
OpenSecrets 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 former FTX chief Sam Bankman-Fried and the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act.
After its investment in lobbying, Binance and its former chief executive officer, Changpeng Zhao, pleaded guilty to felonies 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.