Former government officials flock to crypto through private sector revolving door

Former government officials are flocking to the crypto industry in a turbocharged version of Washington, DC’s well-known “revolving door” between public service and private companies.

Nearly 240 former congressional, White House, and regulatory agency officials have changed careers to work in the crypto industry, according to new research from the Tech Transparency Project, a nonprofit watchdog organization.

Many of them include former Trump administration department heads, such as former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who joined crypto custody firm Fireblocks in 2021.

Additionally, Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff, and Chris Giancarlo, former chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, have both joined the advisory board of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a crypto lobbying firm. And Brian Brooks, former acting comptroller of the currency, is now the CEO of Bitfury, a leading infrastructure provider.

The hiring spree for former government officials comes as crypto firms ramp up lobbying spending as lawmakers and regulators weigh in on new rules for the sector.

Whether the federal government is implementing a crackdown or a series of regulatory changes, the incentive to bolster its ranks with capable former regulators has never been higher.

Of 235 officials, 78 were from agencies that directly regulate the financial sector, including the Treasury Department, SEC, CFTC and Comptroller of the Currency.

At the same time, a growing number of former top executives in the crypto space are taking the revolving door in the opposite direction.

Five former executives of Circle Internet Financial, the company behind the second-largest stablecoin USDC, now work for the Federal Reserve in Boston, which recently produced a major report on the technicalities of creating a central bank digital currency. .

These hires occurred at the same time that Circle was pursuing a Fed banking charter.

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