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DC Veterans Jim Harper and Amy Weiss Join Bitcoin Foundation

| Published on March 11, 2014 at 13:00 BST

The Bitcoin Foundation has added two new high-profile members and experienced political operators to its team: Jim Harper and Amy Weiss.

Harper has been director of information policy studies for the libertarian Cato Institute for almost a decade, while Weiss is a former White House Deputy Press Secretary. She currently runs strategic communications firm Weiss Public Affairs.

Jim Harper will be the foundation’s new Global Policy Counsel and he will work to identify political impediments to bitcoin adoption. Harper has plenty of experience in the field, as he served as counsel to various committees in the US House of Representatives and the Senate.

During his time in Washington DC, he provided counsel on PayPal, VeriSign and other companies in the payments space. Jon Matonis, Bitcoin Foundation’s executive director said:

“Bitcoin is rapidly maturing and we are actively building out a world-class team of highly experienced professionals. Jim’s experience with Cato and past experience with PayPal in addition to Amy’s experience with the United Nations Foundation and the White House are invaluable to our efforts around the world and in DC.”

Building a voice

Harper said the Bitcoin Foundation is already a credible voice in Washington DC. He believes he can build on the foundation’s success and improve global financial inclusion and strengthen financial privacy for law-abiding consumers.

“The consensus policy that the foundation has produced – maximizing the benefits of Bitcoin while managing the risks – is something we’ll work to see governments around the world adopt,” he added.

Amy Weiss will join the foundation’s public affairs team and assist global communications and media efforts. In addition to her White House job under the Clinton administration, Weiss also worked for the Recording Industry Association of America, the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Campaign. “Bitcoin will soon be recognized as one of the most important economic and social innovations of our times,” said Weiss, adding:

“The Bitcoin protocol is poised to do for international commerce and financial services what the World Wide Web did for communications. Working with the Bitcoin Foundation during this exciting and formative time is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Weiss also served as the communications director at the Democratic National Committee and a press secretary for the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1992.

Interestingly, the Clinton administration was instrumental in the popularisation of another ground-breaking technology two decades ago. The administration worked to enact no-nonsense legislation which paved the way for the internet boom in the late nineties.

Bill Clinton was the first US President to send an email, while Al Gore became the subject of many a joke for his statements regarding internet legislation, which were used to imply that Gore claimed credit for creating the internet.

Gore is no longer active in politics, and it remains to be seen which US politicians will champion bitcoin’s cause on the road ahead.

White House image via Shutterstock

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