More than $40 million has been spent on Fintech lobbying by 80 entities with half citing crypto and blockchain in their lobbying disclosure for the first quarter of 2019.
MasterCard spent $720,000 on a range of lobbying activities, including “issues involving payment cards, payment systems, virtual currencies, and electronic payment transactions.”
That’s all in one sentence, with MasterCard then listing other payment cards or systems lobbying activities. So suggesting they have lobbied about something that has to do with crypto payments.
Coinbase recently launched a Visa crypto card while a start-up, Tap n Go, claims to have partnered with “Transact Payments Limited (TPL) to provide the Tap Prepaid Mastercard® that will allow customers to convert Crypto Assets held with TAP for spending wherever Mastercard is accepted.”
Both are limited to just Europe, so there might be some sort of law which prevents MasterCard from offering crypto cards in US and perhaps they are lobbying to change it.
The National Venture Capital Association has spent $520,000 on lobbying the SEC about, among other things, “blockchain regulatory and policy issues.”
Justin Field, senior vice president of government affairs at the National Venture Capital Association said they have been trying to update regulations to allow VC firms to treat funding for blockchain projects like other, more traditional startup investments.
“I know there is a lot of concern about retail investors that bought into ICOs, and some fly-by-night operators during the ICO craze, but the one group that doesn’t need investor protection is venture capital,” Field said.
Coinbase in contrast has spent only $50,000 on things like the Bank Secrecy Act and cybersecurity.
Interestingly Totle, which is a new start-up that aggregates decentralized exchanges, has spent $5,000 on lobbying the Senate and House of Representatives with the disclosure containing only general terms like “cryptocurrencies, digital assets, blockchain, and distributed ledger technology.”
The Blockchain Association has spent quite a bit more, $120,000, on “issues related to internet-based distributed financial systems and decentralized web applications using blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies.”
Speaking to a lobbying focused paper, Kristin Smith of the Blockchain Association said they have been focusing on a bill from Ohio Republican Rep. Warren Davidson to exempt digital tokens from securities regulations.
“That’s probably been our biggest focus and it will continue to be our biggest focus for the next couple of months,” he said.
Then there’s also Coin Center, which has spent $140,000 lobbying the House, Senate and other regulatory agencies on tax issues and other matters.
Whether all this lobbying will lead to any results remains to be seen, but the crypto industry has now grown to play the game of persuading law makers and regulators.