Bitcoin Foundation sets the record straight at Capitol Hill

The Bitcoin Foundation educated US policy makers about digital currency in a meeting in Washington DC's Capitol Hill yesterday.

AccessTimeIconAug 28, 2013 at 4:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 10, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Members of the Bitcoin Foundation educated US policy makers about digital currency in a meeting in Washington DC's Capitol Hill yesterday.

Peter Vessenes, Patrick Murck and Marco Santori represented the Bitcoin Foundation and spent the day talking protocol, block chain and mining with representatives from the offices of several congressmen and senators.

Santori, who is chair of the foundation's Regulatory Affairs Committee, said the attendees raised a number of concerns including privacy and anti-money laundering issues, but most just wanted to know how the protocol works.

"The protocol can be used in many ways, so it's helpful to make that distinction. We gave examples and analogies to explain the fundamentals. We said if bitcoin is like email, a bitcoin service is like Gmail and a bitcoin company is like Google," Santori explained.

There were also people at the meeting who had a very in-depth understanding of bitcoin. Santori said he was surprised to find there were a few attendees who knew more about bitcoin than he did.

Overall, he thinks the meeting went very well, but stressed it's still very early days:

"We’re not yet at a stage where we are advocating a policy position. Capitol Hill is still understanding what bitcoin is, and we are trying to facilitate that process.

We were successful in bringing bitcoin out of boogeyman territory, though. That's the first step, which hopefully prevents authorities making knee-jerk reactions."

He believes it was important for the representatives to meet people involved in the bitcoin world, to show that digital currency is used by normal people, not just hardened criminals.

"Our real success over the past couple of days was beginning this dialogue. We welcome other federal regulatory agencies and enforcement agencies to reach out with any questions or concerns." Santori concluded.

Yesterday's session followed a meeting on Monday hosted by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which was attended by the Bitcoin Foundation and high-level representatives from a number of US federal agencies.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.