Business 13 September 2018Erik Gibbs
Crypto industry leaders establish lobby group in Washington
Since U.S. federal regulators don’t want to go to crypto, crypto is going to them. A new political lobbying group has been created by some of the major entities in the crypto space in the country to help shape future policies and regulations that will ultimately help the industry reach greater adoption. The Blockchain Association is reportedly the first such lobby group to be created in the U.S., and will have its headquarters right in the heart of the country’s political body, Washington, DC.
According to an article from the Washington Post, the group was created by several industry leaders, including Circle, Coinbase, Protocol Labs and others. Additionally, several crypto investment firms, like Polychain Capital and Digital Currency Group, are on board. The Blockchain Association will represent entrepreneurs and investors in Washington and help them advance their blockchain-powered projects.
It will also help mainstream companies slalom through the intricacies of the U.S. political system. The organization will address policy and tax law-related issues to help the companies ensure they meet federal guidelines.
Also included in the responsibilities of the group is to work with legislators to address topics such as Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering policies. According to Coinbase Chief Legal and Risk Officer Mike Lempres, “The Blockchain Association is an effort to get the preeminent companies in the space together so [policymakers] know they’re hearing from companies that welcome regulation when it’s appropriate. We’re not companies looking to game the system, but trying to develop a legal and regulatory system that’ll stand the test of time.”
Three months ago, Coinbase established a political action committee (PAC) for the crypto industry. The PAC works to collect funds in order to help push the crypto agenda with both federal and regional lawmakers, and to support, or counter, legislation and ballot initiatives.
The PAC, together with The Blockchain Association, show that the industry is maturing. Coin Center’s executive director Jerry Brito asserted, “We’re happy to see this organization stand up. It’s good to have more voices advocating for things we agree about. But probably more importantly for us, a lot of folks project ‘trade association’ onto Coin Center, and we’re decidedly not that. When we get questions about the industry, we can send them to these folks.”
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