The Blockchain Association has expanded operations to the state of New York, adding an office in Albany, the state’s capital.
The expansion comes as the crypto trade association, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., is taking steps to get more involved in regulation at the state level.
New York has emerged as the center of the U.S. crypto industry, but regulatory challenges including the BitLicense – a special license required to do business as a crypto company in New York that is difficult and expensive to obtain – and ongoing efforts at the state level to stop crypto mining in the state, have been a challenge for many companies seeking to do business in New York.
John Olsen, who has been hired to lead the Blockchain Association’s New York office, told CoinDesk educating state legislators is his first priority.
“We are here to start establishing a presence, forming relationships and educating legislators and policymakers about blockchain and the cryptocurrency industry,” Olsen said.
Lack of education, according to Olsen, is the biggest threat to New York’s crypto industry.
“We have existing legislation right now in the form of a moratorium bill which would ban crypto mining in New York for three years,” Olsen said. “I think that’s actually gained more momentum than it should have, because there’s no one really from the industry advocating the benefits of both blockchain and crypto.”
Before his appointment by the Blockchain Association, Olsen served as senior vice president of state government affairs for the Internet Association, a since-dissolved lobbying group based in Washington, D.C. that advocated for Web 2 companies including Alphabet's (GOOG) Google, Microsoft (MSFT) and Facebook (FB), now Meta.
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