Tech giants Mastercard, IBM, Alibaba, and others (about 80 in total) have spent about $42 million in Q1 of 2019 for lobbying purposes. In that group, over half cited Bitcoin and blockchain among their main concerns.
Roll Call, a political news website, published an article stating about 80 companies have spent over $42 million for fintech lobbying efforts. Looking a little deeper, however, $16.4 million of the total was spent by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce related to trade and infrastructure. Regardless, $25.6 million is still a large amount of money. The two biggest issues being lobbied are taxes and a bill that will exempt digital tokens from securities regulations.
Due to their many use cases (currencies, securities, etc…), it is unclear how investors are to treat their transactions when it comes to each tax season. That is why Jerry Brito, Executive Director at Coin Center, wants two tax bills will pass this year. One would create a minimum threshold for capital gains and the other would offer a tax compliance exemption when cryptocurrencies fork. In addition, he would like a safe harbor to anyone who has made a “good faith effort” to comply with laws until there is clearer guidance.
“The IRS has given no guidance how they’d treat that, so people are guessing.” -Jerry Brito
The bill put forth by Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson, The Token Taxonomy Act, which exempts digital tokens from securities regulations is being lobbied hard by the fintech industry.
That’s probably been our biggest focus and it will continue to be our biggest focus for the next couple of months.” -Kristin Smith, The Blockchain Association