This year, crypto emerged as a political force, with many Washington-based lobbyists fomenting the charge. Executive director of the Blockchain Association, Kristin Smith, a former congressional staffer and familiar face on the Hill, has been the voice for much of this change-making. Her work sometimes happens behind closed doors – educating senators and helping craft policy – though her most influential acts come in representing the cryptocurrency industry through countless op-eds, speaking engagements and a professional online presence.

Going deeper: “We have a choice: Continue to nurture the nascent crypto industry in this country or let the demons of our partisan political system hamper the next wave of cutting-edge financial technology,” Smith wrote in a CoinDesk op-ed.

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(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)

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