Last week, the Senate approved a massive infrastructure package making serious investments in building out the US’s roads and bridges. It would be the largest domestic spending bill in almost a decade, and nearly every powerful lobbying shop circled Washington for months trying to shape its language.
But one industry was surprisingly thrown into the fight last minute: cryptocurrency. When the Senate finally announced the bill text earlier this month, it included a provision that could impose devastating new tax requirements for wallet developers and miners. Suddenly, the cryptocurrency industry and its few lobbying shops faced one of its largest regulatory threats ever. They needed all of the digital foot soldiers they could get to help rally senators and fix the problematic language.
So, they turned to their vast and vocal online community of investors and posters.
“We are at an advantage in grassroots organizing because we’re a structurally networked community,” Neeraj Agrawal, director of communications for Coin Center, told The Verge. “Everybody in cryptocurrency knows everybody else for the most part so information moves really fast across various social channels.”
Advocacy groups and blockchain organizations were quickly able to direct their grassroots digital community’s energy toward the fight. Fight for the Future and the Electronic Frontier Foundation were able to prompt more than 40,000 calls to senators ahead of the bill’s final vote on the floor.
High-profile celebrities and influencers like Ashton Kutcher and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also came out in opposition of