Tech Experts ‘Counter-Lobby’ Washington Criticizing Crypto, Blockchain: Report

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U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. (lazyllama/Shutterstock)

A group of tech experts and academics wrote to U.S. lawmakers criticizing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the first concerted attempt to counter lobbying by the crypto industry, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

  • The 26 signatories include Harvard lecturer Bruce Schneier, former Microsoft engineer Miguel de Icaza and principal engineer at Google Cloud, Kelsey Hightower, the FT said.
  • “We urge you to resist pressure from digital asset industry financiers, lobbyists, and boosters to create a regulatory safe haven for these risky, flawed, and unproven digital financial instruments,” the letter says, according to the report.
  • The letter is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as well as leading senators Patrick Toomey (R-PA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), who have both been supportive of the crypto industry.
  • According to Schneier, “The claims that the blockchain advocates make are not true … It’s not secure, it’s not decentralized. Any system where you forget your password and you lose your life savings is not a safe system.”
  • “We’re counter-lobbying, that’s what this letter is about,” said software developer Stephen Diehl. “The crypto industry has its people, they say what they want to the politicians.” Diehl is a consistent crypto critic, having published a number of crypto-skeptic blogs on his website in the last few years.
  • Crypto companies spent around $9 million on lobbying in 2021, more than triple the $2.8 million spent the previous year. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was the biggest spender accounting for $1.5 million of this figure