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Crypto Advocacy Landscape: Lawmakers, Ethics, and the Stand with Crypto Movement

Aug 15, 2023 at 08:12 pm

Rep. David Schweikert, known for his strong support of cryptocurrency within the United States, has agreed to pay $175,000 as part of a settlement related to breaches of House ethics regulations.

Coinbase, a U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, has recently launched an initiative urging crypto holders to directly communicate with lawmakers. One of the featured members of the House of Representatives in this campaign had previously admitted to 11 ethics violations.

As of August 15, more than 54,000 individuals have joined Coinbase's 'Stand with Crypto Alliance,' aiming to engage with federal-level U.S. lawmakers. This initiative enables users to gauge the "crypto sentiment" of members in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Reference: standwithcrypto.orgReference: standwithcrypto.org

On the initiative's landing page, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Brad Sherman are categorized as being "strongly against" crypto policies. In contrast, Representatives Josh Gottheimer, Ritchie Torres, and David Schweikert are labeled as "very supportive." Senator Warren has often implied that crypto is linked to illegal activities, such as facilitating the fentanyl trade in China. Meanwhile, Representative Torres has urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to limit its enforcement actions against crypto firms.

According to information provided by the Stand with Crypto Alliance, Rep. Schweikert has endorsed three pro-crypto bills during his tenure and has made four statements regarding digital assets. The alliance acknowledges that "Members of Congress may have views you strongly agree or disagree with," although it does not explicitly discuss non-crypto policy stances.

In 2020, Rep. Schweikert was fined $50,000 by the House Ethics Committee for campaign finance violations that violated House ethics rules. In 2022, he was fined an additional $125,000 by the Federal Election Commission for related allegations. These violations centered around the failure to report loans and the improper use of campaign funds for personal matters. Cointelegraph attempted to reach out to Rep. Schweikert's office for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

The Stand with Crypto Alliance had received donations at the time of publication, including over $215 from a crypto user with the pseudonym 'Jerry Mander,' a play on the term "gerrymander," which refers to manipulating district boundaries for political advantage. There was also a $191.98 donation from an unverified account potentially linked to Roger Bartlett, Coinbase's head of institutional operations solutions and Coinbase Treasury.

This political initiative represents Coinbase's latest effort to encourage crypto users to support "pro-crypto candidates" in the U.S. The exchange is currently facing a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission over alleged unregistered securities offerings, prompting many lawmakers and industry advocates to call for the case's dismissal.

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