UPDATE (19th March 0:00 BST): This piece has been updated with additional comment and information from BitFury.
A former US Department of Justice official has been named to the board of strategic advisors at bitcoin mining firm BitFury.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein will act as a regulatory and law enforcement liaison for BitFury. Currently a partner at Washington, DC-based law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Weinstein will serve in a private capacity while continuing his work at the law firm.
Weinstein resigned from the Justice Department in 2012 during a Congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, a failed gun-walking program that dates back to the Bush administration, and is believed by some to have contributed to an increase in Mexican gang violence and the murder of a US Border Patrol officer in 2010.
During an interview with the Journal, Weinstein spoke favorably of bitcoin’s open transaction ledger and its potential role in law enforcement, noting:
Weinstein went on to suggest that there is a need for greater oversight of the bitcoin industry in order to root out what he called "bad actors" in the system.
“It is in everyone’s interest for bad actors that use a new technology to be rooted out so that everyone else can enjoy the fruits of that technology,” he said.
BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov said that the addition of Weinstein to the company's strategic board gives it an edge in Washington, explaining that he believes Weinstein will be well-placed to speak on behalf of the company and the bitcoin industry as a whole. He added that BitFury is also weighing the creation of a new office in Washington sometime in the future.
“We are excited to add Jason Weinstein to our advisory board,” he said in a statement. “Mr. Weinstein’s extensive expertise in cybercrime is invaluable."
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