Coinbase is the first bitcoin company to join the Internet Association (IA), a Washington, DC public policy group that lobbies regulators on Internet freedom and innovation.

Launched in 2012, the IA boasts founding members including Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Google, alongside more than 40 general members including Airbnb, Lyft and Uber.

IA CEO Michael Beckerman framed the announcement as one that will find his organisation continuing its efforts to take on issues facing all disruptive Internet startups, including bitcoin-related issues that may have a wider impact.

Beckerman told CoinDesk:

“The idea of an emerging internet technology would be discriminated against or couldn’t compete because of policy or regulatory issues, that is something all of our companies care about.”

For example, he compared the struggles faced by Coinbase and the bitcoin industry at large to those his firm is helping ridesharing firms and cloud companies to overcome.

John Collins, head of government affairs at Coinbase, cited IA’s role in helping regulators adapt outdated laws as a key factor behind the company’s decision to join the organisation.

“We’re investing a lot in helping policy makers to set the policies of decentralized networks, like the bitcoin protocol,” Collins said. “That’s something that IA has a lot of experience in and we think they can help us.”

Collins did not outline any specific issues Coinbase may be looking to take up as an IA member.

Beckerman added that he considers IA to be “very selective” in recruiting members, and that Coinbase was chosen for its willingness to be a productive part of the conversation surrounding the Internet today.

Circuit board image via Shutterstock

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