The number of companies paying for blockchain lobbying nearly tripled in 2018, Politico reports.
Filings show that 12 firms paid for lobbying in the space in Q4 2017, while 33 did so in the final quarter of 2018. Indeed, Medici Ventures, a subsidiary of Overstock.com hired no less than three lobbying firms to grab legislators' attention on blockchain.
“What’s driven a lot of the growth in lobbying recently has been securities regulation,” Jerry Brito, executive director of the Coin Center, a nonprofit that has lobbied on cryptocurrencies since 2014, told Politico. In other words, companies primarily want legislators to clarify which digital tokens are securities.
Growth in demand has attracted new lobbyists, including the Blockchain Association, which launched last year. Part of their job is to get blockchain-company execs in the same room as regulators. “You need as many legitimate voices and boots on the ground that you can get,” said Izzy Klein from the Klein/Johnson Group.
However, another lobbyist with Paul Hastings acknowledged they were at the start of a long road in terms of “winning allies” outside of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.