BlockFi hires lobbying firm after record fine by SEC, Reuters says

Crypto lending platform BlockFi, which earlier this year was fined a record $100 million by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and state authorities to resolve regulatory charges, is the latest company in the crypto industry to hire lobbyists, Reuters reported on Friday.

BlockFi has engaged a five-person policy team with law and lobbying firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, including partner Mark Epley and legislative and public policy practice group chair Kevin O’Neill, Reuters said, citing a federal lobbying disclosure.

The team will work on “regulatory and tax policy for financial service providers in digital assets,” the filing said.

Crypto has been a growth sector for lobbying, with the industry spending $9 million on lobbying in 2021, according to a March report from Public Citizen cited by Reuters.

A spokesperson for BlockFi told Reuters the company is “eager to engage” with policymakers to help define the regulatory and tax environment for digital assets.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in February that the $100 million settlement made it “clear that crypto markets must comply with time-tested securities laws,” The Block reported at the time.

About Author

Mike Millard has worked as an editor for Bloomberg and Reuters, various newspapers and websites. He lived in Asia for more than two decades and now calls the Greek island of Corfu home. He is the author of three books.