A clash over tax rules for digital currencies like bitcoin turned into a political coming-of-age moment for the cryptocurrency industry, galvanizing a usually fractious coalition of investors, exchanges, financiers and social-media influencers.
In public, Ashton Kutcher, Elon Musk and Square Inc. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey brought the Twitter heat over a provision in the $1 trillion infrastructure bill seeking to expand and strengthen tax enforcement of crypto transactions. That helped prompt tens of thousands of followers to call members of Congress.
Behind the scenes, lobbyists, trade-group officials and executives at crypto companies hopped on Google Meet every few hours to coordinate Congressional outreach and tracked legislative contacts in a shared spreadsheet.
The group enlisted the help of Sens. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Cynthia Lummis (R., Wyo.), who pushed for a more industry-friendly approach. It even convinced the author of the original cryptocurrency language in the bill, Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio), to narrow the scope of who is considered a broker of digital assets