Ripple president predicts success for crypto lobbying in US elections

Ripple president predicts success for crypto lobbying in U.S. elections

Ripple president predicts success for crypto lobbying in US elections As a tech journalist, Zul focuses on topics including cloud computing, cybersecurity, and disruptive technology in the enterprise industry. He has expertise in moderating webinars and presenting content on video, in addition to having a background in networking technology.

The president of Ripple, Monica Long, is optimistic that lobbying efforts undertaken by the crypto industry will yield favourable results in the forthcoming US elections.

Ripple has been instrumental in assisting the industry’s record-breaking fundraising endeavour to support political candidates amenable to the crypto sector.

San Francisco-based Ripple stands as the second-largest donor to Fairshake, a super PAC (political action committee) that has amassed $92.9 million in an effort to influence the congressional elections in November in favour of the crypto industry, according to OpenSecrets, a research group that tracks the influence of money in politics.

Notably, super PACs backed by the cryptocurrency sector have raised more than $102 million thus far in this election cycle, ranking third among all super PACs engaged in the 2024 elections, based on data from Public Citizen.

It is pertinent to note that super PACs, independent political action committees, are legally permitted to raise unlimited sums of money. They can receive funds from corporations, unions, associations, and individuals, and subsequently spend unlimited amounts to advocate for or against specific political candidates overtly.

At the Money20/20 fintech conference in Amsterdam, Monica Long told Reuters that Fairshake PAC maintains a bipartisan stance focused solely on supporting candidates who back the crypto industry’s desired regulations. Long stated, “I think as an industry, especially for us companies based in the US, we’re frustrated with how far the US is lagging on setting rules. This whole dynamic of setting rules through enforcement … is really unproductive and not getting us anywhere.”

When questioned about her optimism regarding the US crypto industry’s voice being heard, Long responded affirmatively, stating, “I’m optimistic, yes. I’m hopeful.”

Following the turmoil of major 2022 crypto firm bankruptcies that eroded investor confidence and exposed fraud, resulting in substantial losses, the crypto industry has intensified its legislative efforts amid increased scrutiny from regulators and politicians.

Numerous prominent cryptocurrency companies, such as Ripple, have found themselves entangled in legal disputes with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concerning alleged breaches of securities regulations. A recent federal court decision found that Ripple’s distribution of its XRP tokens to advanced investors represented illegal sales of unregistered securities. Nevertheless, the court also determined that XRP transactions on public exchanges do not qualify as securities under the law.

Notably, the SEC is seeking substantial fines and penalties totaling $2 billion in its case against Ripple, as stated by the company.

Cryptocurrency organisations are vigorously advocating for legislative changes to reduce the SEC’s regulatory authority over their sector. According to a Public Citizen report, around half of the industry’s political funds come directly from corporate contributions, chiefly from major players like Coinbase and Ripple, while venture capitalists provide the rest.

Despite efforts to boost support, the industry’s internal data points to potential obstacles. According to a May survey from Digital Currency Group, a mere 14% of voters in pivotal US states own cryptocurrency, with 69% of these individuals expressing negative attitudes toward crypto compared to 31% who view it favourably. The report stated, “While most voters are dissatisfied with the current financial system, only a minority think crypto is the future of transacting, or a new way to prosperity.”

Further complicating the landscape, US President Joe Biden recently vetoed what he described as a Republican-led resolution that would “inappropriately constrain the SEC’s ability to set forth appropriate guardrails and address future issues” relating to crypto assets. SEC Chair Gary Gensler has previously characterised the crypto industry as a “Wild West,” rife with fraud and investor risk.

In her comments, Monica Long of Ripple voiced her aspiration for a ‘change in tone’ in dealings with the SEC, which she believes has been overly aggressive towards the crypto industry in recent years. She highlighted a universal wish for more constructive engagement. With increased lobbying by the crypto sector and the imminent US elections, the regulatory framework is expected to undergo substantial changes.

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