Even as U.S. lawmakers remain unconvinced about the merits of its crypto-and-blockchain venture, Facebook is ramping up its lobbying efforts in the nation’s capital. The social media behemoth is reported to have added FS Vector to its growing list of lobbyists. John Collins, who previously worked as the head of policy at Coinbase, leads the company. The latest move after a Switzerland trip by U.S. Congress officials to investigate cryptocurrency regulation. The company had already Congressional ire during hearings on Capitol Hill.
According to disclosure documents that were filed on August 23, FS Vector signed with Facebook as their retainer client beginning on August 5 to work on blockchain policy. Collins’ LinkedIn profile shows that he was at Coinbase from September 2014 to January 2016.
Before that, Collins worked as a senior staffer in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Senate committee. He was also present at the first-ever hearing held by congress on crypto and blockchain back in 2013.
More Lobbyists As Regulatory Pushback Grows
This lobbying effort comes at a time when lawmakers in the US and around the world are pushing back on the plan to launch a global crypto payment network. Maxine waters, who led the Congressional delegation to Switzerland, released a statement Sunday in which she said she had her doubts about “allowing a large tech company to create a privately controlled, alternative global currency.” “I look forward to continuing our Congressional delegation, examining these issues, money laundering, and other matters within the Committee’s jurisdiction,” she said.
Facebook has been hiring lobbyists for the project since it was announced in June. Last month, it was reported that Facebook had spent more than $7.5 million on lobbying for the Libra project. The company has hired both internal lobbyists and third party lobbyists such as the Cypress Group, Sternhell Group, and the Davis Polk law firm. Other firms that have been hired by Facebook include Off Hill Strategies, and the Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner law firm. Documents show the social media giant hired them in June and July.