Stablecoin issuers including Tether, Circle, and others have spent well over a million dollars lobbying lawmakers on Capitol Hill since the start of 2022, according to recent data.
Stablecoins have become the center of attention in Washington recently as pressure mounts to roll out a regulatory framework for dollar-pegged digital assets.
Tether uses the law offices of Michael Jason Lee for its lobbying efforts, which are carried out through FTI Government Affairs, a consulting firm with bipartisan connections.
According to public interest outlet ProPublica, Tether has spent around $600,000 since the beginning of 2022, with a quarterly spend of $120,000 for lobbying the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
The lobbying efforts have been to support legislation related to stablecoins. Tether issues the world’s dominant stablecoin, USDT (USDT), which has a market share of 63% and a circulation of $83 billion.
Government transparency group Open Secrets added that Tether spent another $270,000 on lobbying in the first quarter of 2023.
Meanwhile, rival stablecoin issuer Circle has also been spending big on lobbying efforts. The firm began lobbying with strategic consulting firm Invariant in late 2021 and has spent at least $560,000 since then, according to ProPublica.
Circle’s lobbying efforts have revolved around educating policymakers on its business model, educating members of Congress on stablecoin and cryptocurrency issues, and monitoring cryptocurrency proposals.
The company has lobbied the Senate, House of Representatives, Treasury, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission.
Circle’s quarterly lobbying budget is currently $100,000. The firm issues USDC (USDC), the world’s second-largest stablecoin, with a market share of 22.6% and circulation of $29.5 billion. On May, 18, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire reiterated the need for stablecoin legislation and safe access to digital dollars.
Dollar access, safety and competitiveness are paramount for the US on the global stage. https://t.co/IqlRHCQFrl
— Jeremy Allaire (@jerallaire) May 18, 2023
Paxos, the former issuer of the Binance stablecoin BUSD, has spent around $300,000 on lobbying since early 2022. Paxos uses bipartisan public policy firm Mindset for its lobbying efforts focused on issues related to drafting stablecoin legislation.
Crypto industry lobbying expenses surged 120% in the United States in 2022, as reported by Cointelegraph earlier this year.
The amount pledged by stablecoin issuers is, however, dwarfed by that spent by other major crypto companies. Coinbase has spent around $5.5 million since it began lobbying in 2015, and Binance.US spent almost $1 million in 2022.
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