Senator Warren says crypto firms shouldn’t partner with ex-government officials
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., says crypto companies and lobbying groups that hire and partner with former government officials are “stonewalling” bipartisan efforts
Crypto firms have a “revolving door” of ex-law enforcement and federal officials, according to one US senator who alleges these recruits are being unfairly used to block policy.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., says crypto companies and lobbying groups that hire and partner with former government workers are undermining lawmakers’ bipartisan efforts to regulate the industry.
In a letter sent Monday evening to crypto exchange Coinbase and lobby groups Coin Center and the Blockchain Association, Warren said the industry’s recruitment strategy is harming progress in Washington.
Warren cited a November Politico article in which the author claims the crypto industry is “flexing a not-so secret weapon: a small army of former defense, national security and law enforcement officials.”
“The abuse of the revolving door is appalling, revealing that the crypto industry is spending millions to give itself a veneer of legitimacy while fighting tooth and nail to stonewall common sense rules designed to restrict the use of crypto for terror financing,” Warren wrote in the letter.
Warren, according to the letter, is primarily concerned with how crypto companies and lobbying groups are leveraging these relationships to block legislation she says would crack down on crypto’s role in funding terrorists like Hamas.
Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association, said Warren’s letter was a response to her agency’s November letter sent to the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees, which was signed by 40 former military officials, national security and intelligence experts.
“Sen. Warren should focus her efforts on the perpetrators, not those working hand-in-hand with US law enforcement to catch bad actors,” Smith wrote on X in response to Warren’s letter, adding that “the industry is eager to engage on policy issues.”
Industry members pushed back on Warren’s claims, arguing that partnering with others to propose policy is a “fundamental right.”
“Engaging like-minded experts to advocate against legislative proposals that one sincerely believes are unconstitutional and detrimental to the nation’s welfare does not constitute ‘undermining bipartisan efforts in Congress,’” Coin Center said in a statement in response to the letter Tuesday.
The letter comes a day after Coinbase, which has ramped up its lobbying efforts in recent months with the launch of its nonprofit “Stand with Crypto Alliance,” announced its support for crypto-focused super PAC Fairshake.
Sen. Warren’s office did not immediately respond to Blockworks’ request for comment.
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