Greg Nash

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

The council, which is backed by crypto exchanges Coinbase and Gemini and several crypto investment firms, announced Gardner’s hire alongside a slate of new executives. Gardner will lead political strategy and will not lobby lawmakers, the group said.

“The combined leadership and global experience of our new team members will fortify CCI’s expertise in a crucial moment, both within our organization and across the crypto industry worldwide,” Sheila Warren, the group’s CEO, said in a statement. 

The crypto industry is dramatically ramping up its lobbying presence in Washington, D.C., as it seeks to help shape crypto regulations. 

The number of lobbyists representing crypto has nearly tripled over the last three years, a list that now includes several former senators and top financial regulators, according to a report from Public Citizen released last month. Crypto advocates’ lobbying spending quadrupled from 2018 to 2021. 

The industry suffered its first lobbying defeat last year, when the final bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law included a transaction reporting requirement that crypto advocates warned could cripple digital asset innovation if implemented incorrectly. 

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

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

Tags Coinbase Cory Gardner Cory Gardner crypto Crypto Council for Innovation Cryptocurrency lobbying Lobbying

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