High-profile cryptocurrency companies and tech veterans are joining forces to form the Blockchain Association — the very first DC-based lobbying group.
Fully-Fledged Lobbying Group
Prominent cryptocurrency companies such as Coinbase, Circle, Protocol Labs, as well as investors in the field like Digital Currency Group, Polychain Capital, and others, are among the founding members of Blockchain Association, Washington Post reports.
The formation is designated to be the first cryptocurrency lobbying group and it’s intended to charm federal lawmakers as well as regulators who’ve already expressed interest in the field.
The organization also aims to position itself as a voice for companies seeking to work within the political system instead of finding ways to circumvent it.
According to the report, the group will be initially focused on anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations, addressing the ways cryptocurrencies are currently treated under the existing US tax legislation.
Regarding this point, Mike Lempres, Chief legal and risk office at Coinbase, says:
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.
Leaders of the Pack
Cementing its firm intentions, the Blockchain Association already has its very first hire, Kristin Smith. Smith is supposedly going to guide the group during this early period. Smith has serious experience in lobbying as an aide to former Senator Olympia J. Snowe. Later on, she went on to lobby for Overstock.com.
Reportedly, she will be making efforts towards educating policymakers and regulators in the space. She said:
I’ve been spending a lot of time doing a lot of the basic education work in this space. […] I’m excited to focus exclusively on these issues.
Also sharing his two cents on the matter was Jerry Brito, executive director of DC-based cryptocurrency think tank Coin Center. He added:
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.
What do you think of the newly formed Blockchain Association? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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