- Senator Warren questions crypto groups’ hiring of former government officials as lobbyists, calling it unethical “cashing in”; industry argues it’s legal free speech
- Coin Center declines Warren’s request for hiring details, calls it a “bullying publicity stunt”; reminds her lobbying is protected speech
- The tense exchange shows ongoing tensions between crypto and regulators; balanced policy requires nuance and compromise from both sides
Senator Elizabeth Warren recently sent letters to several major crypto organizations, including Coinbase, the Blockchain Association, and Coin Center, criticizing their hiring of former government officials to lobby on their behalf. She called the practice “appalling” and said it undermines bipartisan Congressional efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies.
While legal, Warren argued the hiring reveals gaps in ethics laws, allowing former officials to “cash in” by lobbying their previous employers. She asked the groups to provide details on their hiring policies.
Coin Center Declines Further Comment
In response, Coin Center director Jeremy Brito declined to answer Warren’s questions, calling it a “bullying publicity stunt.” Brito said Coin Center has no obligation to disclose hiring practices beyond legal requirements, stating:
“Our constitutional republic depends on our mutual adherence to the rule of law but also on long-standing norms of civility, respectful debate and compromise.”
Brito reminded Warren that lobbying is protected free speech. The crypto industry has criticized Warren’s legislative efforts as being influenced by banking lobbyists.
The terse exchange highlights ongoing tensions between the crypto industry and policymakers seeking more oversight. Crypto groups claim regulation threatens innovation, while officials raise concerns about illicit finance.
Navigating these issues requires nuance and compromise from both sides. Ethical debates persist around lobbying, but mutual good faith efforts can lead to balanced policy.