Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins a crypto lobbying group

Former Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will join the Crypto Council for Innovation as chief policy affairs strategist, the industry trade group announced Thursday.

The board, which is backed by crypto exchanges Coinbase and Gemini and several crypto investment firms, announced the hiring of Gardner alongside a slate of new executives. Gardner will direct policy strategy and will not lobby lawmakers, the group said.

“The combined leadership and global experience of our new team members will strengthen CCI’s expertise at a crucial time, both within our organization and across the broader crypto industry globally,” said Group CEO Sheila Warren said in a statement.

The crypto industry is dramatically stepping up its lobbying presence in Washington, DC as it seeks to help shape crypto regulation.

The number of lobbyists representing crypto has almost tripled over the past three years, a list that now includes several prominent former senators and financial regulators, according to a Public Citizen report published last month. Lobbying spending by crypto advocates quadrupled from 2018 to 2021.

The industry suffered its first lobbying defeat last year, when the last bipartisan infrastructure bill passed into law included a transaction reporting requirement that crypto advocates say could cripple innovation. digital assets if poorly implemented.

Gardner, a one-term senator, chaired the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and led the Republican National Senate Committee from 2017 to 2019. He lost his re-election bid to the Democrat John Hickenlooper in 2020.

Last year, Gardner joined the board of directors of Michael Best Strategies, a lobbying firm run by former Trump White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

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