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According to the latest data, stablecoin issuers including Tether, Circle and others have spent more than a million dollars lobbying lawmakers on Capitol Hill since early 2022.
Recently, stablecoins have become the center of attention in Washington, DC, as pressure builds to roll out a regulatory framework for dollar-pegged digital assets.
Tether uses Michael Jason Lee’s law firms for its lobbying efforts, which are conducted through FTI Government Affairs, a bipartisan consulting firm.
According to public publication ProPublica, Tether has spent about $600,000 since the beginning of 2022, of which it has spent $120,000 quarterly on lobbying the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Lobbying efforts have focused on supporting legislation related to stablecoins. Tether issues the world’s dominant stablecoin USDT with a market share of 63% and a turnover 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 is also spending heavily on lobbying. 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 focused on educating politicians about its business model, educating members of Congress on stablecoin and cryptocurrencies, and monitoring crypto proposals.
The company has lobbied the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Treasury, the Comptroller’s Office (OCC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Circle’s quarterly lobbying budget is currently $100,000. The firm issues USDC, the world’s second-largest stablecoin with a market share of 22.6% and a mintage of $29.5 billion. On May 18, Circle CEO Jeremy Aller reaffirmed the need for stablecoin legislation and secure access to digital dollars.
Dollar access, safety and competitiveness are paramount for the US on the global stage. https://t.co/IqlRHCQFrl
— Jeremy Allaire (@jerellaire) May 18, 2023
Paxos, the former issuer of the stablecoin Binance BUSD, has spent about $300,000 lobbying since its inception in early 2022. Paxos is using bipartisan public policy firm Mindset for its lobbying efforts focused on issues related to developing stablecoin legislation.
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As reported earlier this year, cryptocurrency industry lobbying spending has risen 120% in the United States in 2022.
However, the amount pledged by stablecoin issuers is negligible compared to the amount spent by other large cryptocurrency companies. Coinbase has spent about $5.5 million since lobbying began in 2015, while Binance. The US spent nearly $1 million in 2022.