The number of lobbies working on blockchain technology issues in Washington D.C. tripled in 2018, politics-oriented news outlet Politico reported on March 18.
The number of entities lobbying on digital currencies and blockchain reportedly grew almost thrice in the course of the past year, reaching 33 projects in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to 12 in the same period of 2017.
Jerry Brito — executive director at the non-profit organization Coin Center that works with Reps. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Darren Soto (D-Fla.), both known for their cryptocurrency-friendly attitude — reportedly suggested that the growth is driven by securities regulation.
In January, Soto stated that most cryptocurrencies should not be regulated under the country’s securities regulator. According to Soto, crypto should be overseen by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission and Federal Trade Commission — rather than classed as securities under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s charge.
Blockchain companies purportedly face more difficulties when it comes to the technology’s deployment outside digital currencies. According to lobbyist Dina Ellis Rochkind, blockchain firms are still in the early stages of winning allies in Congress. Izzy Klein from Ripple-backed Klein/Johnson Group, which lobbies for the Securing America’s Internet of Value Coalition, said:
“I think that when you have a new technology and new platforms in older and heavily regulated spaces, you need as many legitimate voices and boots on the ground that you can get.”
Last year, major industry leaders such crypto exchange Coinbase, technology startup Protocol Labs, as well as the Digital Currency Group and Polychain Capital, formed the “first” lobbying group representing the blockchain industry in Washington D.C. The Blockchain Association will purportedly represent entrepreneurs and investors who are engaged in blockchain-based projects.
Recently, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current Republican Minority Leader in the United States House of Representatives, said that blockchain can make the Congress a more efficient and transparent place. McCarthy stated:
“Blockchain is changing and revolutionizing the security of the financial industry. Why would we wait around and why wouldn’t we institute blockchain on our own, to be able to check the technology but also the transparency of our own legislative process?”