Coinbase spent $230k to lobby Congress in 2020, records show

Public lobbying records indicate that Coinbase spent $230,000 across 2020 to lobby the federal government on cryptocurrency policy issues.

The figure, first reported by Cointelegraph's Kollen Post, is contained in four quarterly disclosure forms. Coinbase paid lobby firm Franklin Square Group $50,000 in the first quarter of 2020 and $60,000 in each of the subsequent quarters.

Data from OpenSecrets.org, which tracks information about lobbying efforts, shows that 2020's figure represents a slight uptick from 2019, when Coinbase spent a reported $200,000. 

The records show that Coinbase's lobby efforts cut across the legislative branch, focusing on both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The specific issues cited differ from document to document. For example, the Q1 disclosure form cites "policy issues related to digital assets and financial technology; cybersecurity." The Q2 form adds "Covid recover" and "margin trading" to the list, with "Covid recover" removed in the Q3 and Q4 forms. 

Coinbase was previously a member of the Blockchain Association, a D.C.-based trade and policy group. But it departed in August of last year, a move sources said at the time was connected to Binance.US's entry into the organization. 

Franklin Square Group counts major tech companies like Alphabet and Dropbox among its clientele, per OpenSecrets. 

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