Lobbyists Put Bitcoin on the Agenda in Washington DC

Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Apr 30, 2014 at 11:29 UTC
Updated Apr 30, 2014 at 11:43 UTC

Washington DC government relations firm Peck Madigan Jones has declared bitcoin as one of the issues it will be lobbying on. The big question is, will they be pushing for the digital currency, or against?

The company was founded in 1987 and quickly became a bipartisan organisation, representing the interests of blue chip clients, such as the American Insurance Association.

A wide variety of notable clients are on PMJ’s books, ranging from environmental groups to energy producers, but the list also happens to include some big names in finance, such as Deloitte, Wells Fargo Securities, US Chamber of Commerce, MasterCard and many others.

Questions raised

The firm’s latest LD-2 disclosure, dated 21st April, lists bitcoin as one of its specific lobbying issues, stating:

“Specific Lobbying Issues: Interchange fees, gift cards, overdraft fees, data breach, identity theft, Bitcoin and mobile payments. Implementation of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111-203), including debit interchange fee amendment. Mobile payments in general […]”

The news has caused a bit of stir since it broke on newsBTC late yesterday, with many bitcoiners speculating about what it means.

Peck Madigan Jones’ portfolio of high-profile financial institutions is a cause for concern for some in the bitcoin community. However, any conclusions drawn until further information is revealed will be mere conjecture.

Mobile payments clue?

The disclosure’s mention of bitcoin in the context of mobile payments is intriguing, however, as it appears to be rather specific. Bitcoin, fees, gift cards, mobile payments … it all has a whiff of retail about it, and appears to point toward specific services and niches, rather than bitcoin in general.

In many respects retail is a bright spot in bitcoin’s public image: there haven’t been many cyber attacks on retailers, the headlines regarding bitcoin in retail are largely positive, and bitcoin makes a lot of sense for mobile payments.

However, whether Peck Madigan Jones lobbyists are going around Capitol Hill advocating bitcoin adoption in retail, or doing the exact opposite, we will have to wait and see.