Binance.US Quits Blockchain Association, Forms In-House Lobbying Shop

A source close to the company says the groups’ goals “were not fully aligned.”

Apr 20, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 21, 2022 at 12:24 a.m. UTC

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

Binance.US, the American arm of the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, is leaving noted crypto lobbying group Blockchain Association after less than two years due to a difference in “values, goals and standards,” a person close to the company told CoinDesk.

“Binance.US made a major investment last year in the Blockchain Association,” said the person. “Our executives recently negotiated in good faith with Blockchain Association executives in an effort to grow Binance.US’ role within the group. But after multiple conversations we ultimately determined that our values, goals and standards were not fully aligned.”

“The resources that we would have dedicated will now be reallocated to efforts consistent with Binance.US’ policy agenda in Washington and state capitals across the country,” the person continued.

A Blockchain Association spokesperson confirmed the departure after the initial publication of this article.

“The Blockchain Association wishes Binance.US the best of luck as they build out their operation in Washington,” spokesperson Curtis Kincaid said via email. He said the organization currently has a membership of “more than 80 of the American crypto economy’s most prominent firms, investors, exchanges, infrastructure companies, and projects.”

Binance.US joined the lobbying group in August 2020. Rival exchange Coinbase (COIN) soon after resigned from the Blockchain Association, citing board decisions that seemed “at odds with the association’s mission,” stopping short of naming Binance.US as the cause.

The Washington, D.C.-based Blockchain Association recently expanded operations into New York state as part of a push to lobby for crypto regulations among U.S. statehouses.

The person said Binance.US is opening an office in Washington, D.C., to start expanding on-the-ground efforts toward crypto regulation, which the company confirmed to CoinDesk.

“We believe it’s time we had a clear voice with meaningful impact in the emerging policy debates around digital assets and cryptocurrencies in Washington,” a Binance.US spokesperson told CoinDesk, adding:

“We are excited to establish our own Government Affairs team in D.C. to actively engage in direct and constructive dialogue with U.S. policymakers on smart regulation that increases clarity and trust, while allowing American innovation and leadership to flourish in crypto.”

Binance was banned from operating in the U.S. in 2019, and opened Binance.US to comply with local laws. However, Binance has attracted further legal scrutiny, including a Commodity Futures Trading Commission probe into alleged unlawful derivatives trading.

UPDATE (April 21, 0:24 UTC): Adds comment from Blockchain Association.

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Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

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