Major Crypto Companies Form DC Lobbying Group

NEWS
Nikhilesh De
Sep 11, 2018 at 21:05 UTC  |  Updated  Sep 11, 2018 at 21:45 UTC

A number of blockchain funds, exchanges and startups plan to lobby Washington, D.C. lawmakers with the new Blockchain Association.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that this new organization would focus on both education and legal changes as part of an effort to normalize relations between crypto startups and lawmakers. Coinbase, Circle, Digital Currency Group, Polychain Capital and Protocol Labs are among the association's founding members.

One of the association's first employees is former Senate aide and Overstock.com blockchain lobbyist named Kristin Smith. She told the Post that she would "guide" the organization as it starts out, saying, "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."

Further, Politico reported that Protocol Labs general counsel Marvin Ammori and Hangar founder Josh Mendelsohn will advise the group.

Coinbase chief legal and risk officer Mike Lempres told the Washington Post that the organization would bring companies together to advocate for reasonable regulation, saying:

"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."

The Blockchain Association will specifically focus on tax law and how know-your-customer/anti-money laundering rules relate to crypto exchanges and startups, at least at the beginning, according to the report.

Coin Center's executive director, Jerry Brito, told the Post that the think tank was "happy to see this organization stand up.

"It's good to have more voices advocating for things we agree about," regarding the cryptocurrency space, he said.

Capitol Hill image via Shutterstock

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