The digital chamber council of advisers is crammed with former federal regulators, including a former congressman and a recent chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, J. Christopher Giancarlo, who has been appointed to BlockFi’s board of directors, a financial services company. which attempts to tie cryptocurrencies to traditional wealth managers.
Max Baucus, the former Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Jim Messina, a former senior Obama adviser, were also recently appointed to senior positions in the industry.
Lobbying disclosure records show that at least 65 contracts at the start of 2021 dealt with industrial issues such as digital currency, cryptocurrency or blockchain, up from around 20 in 2019. Some of the biggest lobby spenders include Ripple , Coinbase – the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States – and trading groups like the Blockchain Association.
The lobbying surge is one of the many recent signs nationwide that the industry is growing in the economy. FTX, the cryptocurrency trading company, has spent $ 135 million to secure the naming rights of the Miami Heat’s domestic arena.
Billionaire Elon Musk, who hosted “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, was asked about Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency depicting the face of a Shiba Inu dog that was created as a joke but recently took off. the value. “This is the future of money. It’s an unstoppable financial vehicle that is going to take over the world, ”Musk said, adding,“ Yes, it’s a hustle and bustle. The price of Dogecoin plunged nearly 35% in the hours after the show aired.
With the recent hiring of government officials by industry, allegations of conflicts of interest are already starting to emerge.
Jay Clayton, who was chairman of the SEC until December, is now a paid adviser to hedge fund One River Digital Asset Management, which invests hundreds of millions of dollars in Bitcoin and Ether, two cryptocurrencies, for its clients. Mr. Clayton declined to comment.