Crypto Gains Valuable Voice in Washington with New Lobby Group

A new lobby group has been formed in Washington DC with the express purpose of representing crypto entrepreneurs and investors.

The group, the Blockchain Association, helps to put some further impetus behind the industry in the way it is represented to legislators and lawmakers in the nation’s capital.

Comprised of leaders in the sector, currently made up from  Circle, Coinbase, Protocol Labs and other crypto investment firms, like Polychain Capital and Digital Currency Group, the new lobby group has become the first of its kind, specifically aimed at improving conditions within the cryptocurrency space in the US.

Based in Washington, the group intends to assist crypto and blockchain companies through the law as it relates to the industry, and work with legislators on issues such as tax-law, KYC and AML policy. For industry players, many will be encouraged that the industry now has a voice in the capital, particularly those who welcome prudent voices in the push for regulation.

Detractors of cryptocurrency’s growing corporatization and privatization, however, won’t be convinced even if Coinbase’s chief legal and risk officer Mike Lempres, assured that they weren’t “looking to game the system”.

Recently, Coinbase established its own political action committee (PAC) for the crypto industry, becoming the first of its kind to do so. The role of PACs in the US is that of a fundraiser for candidates running for public office. At the US federal level, an organization becomes a PAC when it receives or spends more than USD 1,000 for the purpose of influencing a federal election and registers with the Federal Election Commission, according to the Federal Election Campaign Act.

Coin Center’s executive director Jerry Brito agreed with Lempres, claiming that it gives their company another outlet for responding to difficult issues:

“We’re happy to see this organization stand up. It’s good to have more voices advocating for things we agree about. But probably more importantly for us, a lot of folks project ‘trade association’ onto Coin Center, and we’re decidedly not that. When we get questions about the industry, we can send them to these folks.”

 

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