Photo: Crypto Kitties | By Hailey Fuchs, Politico | Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, may be an industry deeply perplexing for much of the country. But those monetizing collectible digital assets have already begun playing the classic Washington game, turning to K Street to protect its interests before the government.
One of the largest companies in the NFT space—the Vancouver, Canada-based Dapper Labs, Inc.—became the first to federally register to lobby on issues related to NFTs, doing so in a public disclosure posted on Monday.
he filing comes as operatives and major players in cryptocurrency race to shape views among D.C. policymakers, who are trying to understand the burgeoning technology. A non-fungible token is a unique asset, often a photograph, video, or some kind of artwork, that exists on a digital ledger of transactions, known as a blockchain, that records who owns it. These assets are bought and sold with cryptocurrency.
While Congress has so far shied away from policy discussions regarding NFTs, Dapper Labs’ filing underscores how companies in the field are preparing for regulatory battles ahead. Other crypto groups have registered to lobby the government as well, though without listing NFTs specifically as a subject matter on which they would lobby.
Crossroads Strategies, the lobbying firm recruited by Dapper Labs, reported that it would lobby on “Policy related to NFTs, blockchain, and financial services.”
Among its products, Dapper Labs operates a marketplace, NBA Top Shot, where users can purchase and sell NBA and WNBA NFTs that are video highlights from their games. Another platform operated by the company, known as CryptoKitties, allows cat lovers to “Collect and breed furrever friends!”
Like other groups in the financial technology industry, Dapper Labs has brought in political muscle to help them navigate Washington. In addition to hiring Crossroads Strategies, the group also recruited Alison Kutler, a veteran of the Federal Communications Commission, who began as its head of government affairs in November. Kutler served as the FCC’s chief of the consumer and government affairs bureau and special adviser to the chair between 2015 and 2017, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Kutler also registered to lobby for Dapper Labs on issues related to NFT and blockchain, according to a disclosure posted on Tuesday.
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FYI, COMBO will hold a program on NFTs and how YOU might profit from them on April 18th.
[Thanks to Alex Teitz, http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing this article!]