New Ripple-Led Advocacy Group to Pay DC Lobbyists in XRP

Ripple is leading a group of organizations launching an advocacy body in Washington D.C. that will pay for lobbying in both U.S. dollars and XRP.

Sep 29, 2018 at 11:29 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:26 a.m. UTC

Ripple is leading a number of organizations launching a lobbying group in Washington D.C., Business Standard reported Friday.

Dubbed Securing America's Internet of Value Coalition (SAIV), the group includes, apart from Ripple, the RippleWorks Foundation; Coil, a company developing a solution for digital payments; Hard Yaka, an investment firm focusing on digital assets; and PolySign, a company seeking to be a crypto custodian.

Most of the participants have links to Ripple; for example, Coil was founded by the former CTO at Ripple Stefan Thomas and Hard Yaka has been working on a prepaid card allowing users to spend Ripple balances in real time.

Together the startups hope to influence the regulation of crypto in an environment when "policymakers in Congress and government agencies examine this new technology and wrestle with a regulatory regime that must be updated to meet the needs of this global financial transition," the SAIV's press release says.

SAIV will aim to promote "a vision of a fair and equitable Internet of Value," standard and consistent rules for all major protocols, clarification of custodian rules and "fair and equitable IRS regulations for capital gains, assets and charitable contributions."

To that end, the coalition has hired lobbying firm Klein/Johnson Group, a bipartisan lobby shop focusing on issues related to technology and financial services and boasting Oracle as one of its clients. Klein/Johnson was founded by former staffers of senators John Cornyn and Chuck Schumer.

Notably, the firm is going to be paid $25,000 a month, as well as 10,000 XRP – the Ripple-linked open-source crypto token worth $0.54 at press time.

Paying lobbyists in tokens gives a certain advantage, said Chris Larsen, executive chairman of Ripple, continuing:

"It gives them some upside and gives them some risk. Hopefully it gives them a taste of the industry in a way that hits home."

He admitted that lobbying for crypto-related issues isn't easy currently, but "there is a lot of interest in this topic in D.C."

PolySign CEO Jack McDonald said in a statement that digital assets will "only reach their full potential/adoption when we achieve widespread education and understanding as well as institutional-grade infrastructure in the industry."

SAIV will focus its efforts on working with US policy makers and government agencies "who can help us realize these initiatives," he explained.

As co-founder of Klein/Johnson Izzy Klein told Business Standard, the new coalition is planning to lobby Congress as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies that are involved in the regulation of crypto.

He also noted that his firm will convert the XRP price into dollars when it discloses the payments on federal lobbying forms.

U.S. Capitol building, Washington D.C., image via Shutterstock

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