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

article-image

US Senator Elizabeth Warren | Gage Skidmore/"Elizabeth Warren" (CC license)

share

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. 

Read more: ‘No evidence’ Hamas raised millions in crypto, Elliptic says

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. 


Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2023

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Cover Vertex.jpg

Research

The proliferation of new perp DEXs has led to fragmented liquidity across various DEXs and chains. Vertex, known for its vertically-integrated DEX that includes spot, perpetual, and integrated money markets, is now tackling cross-chain liquidity fragmentation through horizontal integration with the launch of new Edge instances. Vertex's integrated offerings and cross-margined account structure amplify the benefits of new instances: native cross-chain spot trading, optimized cross-chain basis trading, consistent interest rates, reduced bridging friction, and more.

article-image

Partnering with EtherFi and Angle, the fully on-chain perp DEX features bespoke collateral

article-image

Sponsored

Gavin Wood introduced the next evolutionary step for the Polkadot network: the Join-Accumulate Machine, or JAM

article-image

The side events were the places to be at Consensus 2024, according to attendees

article-image

Also, who’s come out swinging in the spot ether ETF fee war — and who could undercut them

article-image

I know it is not in their nature, but US regulators could learn a lot by researching the digital asset frameworks that overseas regulators have already gotten right

article-image

Also, the ETF hype train can count out at least one member