TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The debate lasted less than four minutes.
Last month at the Florida House, lawmakers swiftly approved a bill making it easier to buy and sell cryptocurrency, removing the threat of anti-money laundering legislation. One of the few breaks in action came when two House members rose to thank crypto industry “stakeholders” for teaming up with state officials to draft a statement. draft of the bill.
“Whether you’re Binance or Ethereum, Dogecoin or Bitcoin, this is a great piece of legislation,” said Rep. John Snyder, a Republican from Palm City, referring to crypto exchanges and coins.
Florida’s warm embrace of the cryptocurrency program is just the tip of an aggressive industry-led push to position states as crypto-friendly beachheads. Across the country, crypto executives and lobbyists help craft bills to benefit the growing industry, then push lawmakers to pass those bespoke laws, before moving quickly to capitalize on legislative victories. .
The effort is part of an emerging national crypto industry strategy, in the absence of comprehensive federal regulatory requirements thus far, to work state by state to design a more user-friendly legal system. Lobbyists aim to pave the way for the continued explosive growth of cryptocurrency companies, which are trying to revolutionize banking, e-commerce and even art and music.
Many states are rushing to satisfy the wish lists of crypto companies and their lobbyists, betting that the industry can generate new jobs. But some consumer advocates worry that this effort to please could make investors and businesses more vulnerable to the scams and risky practices that plagued crypto’s early growth.
In Florida, new money transmission legislation grew out of a months-long collaboration between Rep. Vance Aloupis Jr., a South Miami Republican, and Samuel Armes, who is launching a crypto-investment firm. currency, Tortuga Venture Fund.
“Vance has been an incredible asset to the blockchain and crypto community,” Mr. Armes said.
Similar teamwork has been on display in Wyoming, North Carolina, Illinois, Mississippi, Kentucky and other states, according to a New York Times review of state legislative proposals and interviews with legislators and their industry allies.
At least 153 legislative texts related to cryptocurrency were pending this year in 40 states and Puerto Rico, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. While it’s unclear how many were influenced by the crypto industry, some bills used industry-proposed language almost verbatim. A pending invoice in Illinois waived entire sentences of one draft provided by a lobbyist.
In New York, at least a dozen industry players to have hiring lobbyists over the past year – including Blockchain.com, a crypto exchange, and Paxos, which is trying to create a national crypto bank – collectively spend more that $140,000 per monthstate records show.
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Crypto Industry Helps Write and Drive Its Own Agenda in State Capitals – Reuters News in France and abroad
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