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Politico: Facebook enlists legion of lobbyists to sell Washington on Libra

Frank Chaparro

Facebook has enlisted the support of a number of outside lobbying firms to help woo lawmakers in D.C., according to a scoop by Zachary Warmbrodt at Politico. 

Per the report, the social media giant has expanded its lobbying efforts around its Libra cryptocurrency to include outside firms, among them two plug-in financial-services lobbying firms, the Sternhell Group and Cypress Group. It has also conscripted BakerHostetler and the OB-C Group, to "swap policymakers scrutinizing the currency." Also in the mix is Davis Polk, a law firm working with Facebook to address regulatory concerns surrounding Libra. 

Facebook blockchain lead David Marcus, one of the masterminds behind Libra, was in the hot seat last week while addressing U.S. lawmakers about the yet-to-launch crypto. During hearings with the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and U.S. House Financial Services Committee, Marcus tried to assuage concerns around scandal-ridden Facebook launching a cryptocurrency. He answered questions about how Facebook would protect user data and whether Libra would have to be regulated as a type of financial security.

Since last week, crypto has become increasingly relevant on Capitol Hill, according to one insider who helped brief congressional staffers prior to the Facebook hearings. 

"Crypto is definitely more on the radar now," he said. "Not sure about sentiment but it seems like understanding has grown."