Crypto firms gear up for battles over new rules in Washington

The cryptocurrency industry is bracing for an onslaught of regulatory and enforcement action this year, flooding Washington with money, snapping up lobbying firms, and building up their trade associations in an effort to curb new rules.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., speaks during the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Eva Marie Uzcateguia.

After a decade of scant attention from regulators, crypto companies are facing increasing pressure to hire lobbyists in Washington to play defense. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have made it clear they will take more action against companies that they say are violating their rules, while others such as the Internal Revenue Service, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve have said they plan to soon issue new rules that could have a dramatic impact on the industry's profits.

"They're going to be having a busy year," said Owen Tedford, an analyst for Beacon Policy Advisors in Washington. "It's pick your poison. There are going to be a million different things this year from regulation to legislation" for crypto lobbyists to deal with...

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