Stablecoin Issuers Spend Millions to Lobby Lawmakers
- Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire recently emphasized the significance of stablecoin regulation and secure access to digital assets.
- Binance and Coinbase have spent more than $6 million combined on lobbying activities.
- US regulators have faced increased pressure to roll out a regulatory structure for digital assets.
Stablecoin issuers have reportedly spent millions of dollars lobbying US lawmakers in the past year. As US lawmakers have resumed conversations about regulating cryptocurrencies, two significant stablecoin issuers, Tether (USDT) and Circle (USDC), have poured more than a million dollars between them. Records compiled by ProPublica show that Tether pays FTI Government Affairs $120,000 quarterly to advocate for stablecoin-related legislation. The company has spent around $600,000 since early 2022.
Tether’s USDT has a market share of 63% and an $83 billion market cap. Open Secrets, a government transparency group, claims Tether spent around $270,000 during the first quarter of 2023 to lobby lawmakers.
A Tether spokesperson explained that “Tether believes it is crucial to contribute to the development of a transparent and balanced regulatory framework that fosters innovation while ensuring consumer protection and market integrity.”
Interestingly, Tether’s rival, Circle, has been paying DC-based Invariant approximately $100,000 every quarter to educate Capitol Hill legislators on stablecoin and cryptocurrency concerns and to keep track of relevant proposals. The stablecoin issuer has spent at least $560,000 since 2021.
Circle has reportedly lobbied the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Senate, the Treasury, the House of Representatives, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Circle’s USDC currently ranks as the second-largest stablecoin with a market share of 22.6% and $29.5 billion in circulation.
Other stablecoin issuers, such as Paxos, the company behind the Binance stablecoin BUSD, have invested almost $300,000 in lobbying. However, the funds spent by these stablecoin issuers pale in comparison to those spent by crypto exchanges like Binance and Coinbase. Binance has spent more than $1 million since the start of 2022 on lobbying activities, while Coinbase has spent more than $5 million since 2015.