As crypto cash floods Washington, Congress eyes gentler regulations

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Cryptocurrency companies and investors have spent at least $149 million over the past four years to thwart tough regulation, elect new allies to Congress and defeat lawmakers seen as potential threats, a campaign that culminated this week with a House vote to soften federal oversight of the embattled industry.

The wide array of financial backers include Coinbase and Ripple, which the U.S. government recently sued for allegedly violating federal rules meant to protect investors from harm. Even as they have come under withering scrutiny, these and other major crypto firms have fought not only to rebuff the charges but to remake the laws entirely, mounting an expensive lobbying effort that has left no part of Washington untouched.

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