Daily Management Review

Crypto companies create a lobby group in Washington


Lawmakers around the world are discussing general regulatory framework for crypto-currency assets, so crypto lobbyists are interested in joining this process and influencing development of new laws governing crypto-currency activities. So, a number of blockchain funds, stock exchanges and start-ups plan to influence the Washington legislators through a new blockchain association, writes the Washington Post.

Andrew Bossi
Andrew Bossi
A new organization headquartered in Washington states that its main goal will be representation of industry in the US political system. To this end, it will focus its activities on educational issues and normalization of relations with the authorities in matters of regulation and taxation.

The new association includes leading crypto currency companies, including the largest US exchange Coinbase, Protocol Labs technological start-up, and the Digital Currency Group of Barry Silbert and Polychain Capital. Among the founders of the organization are Circle and Protocol Labs.

The group will also work with legislators on regulatory documents in the areas of combating money laundering and user identification and applying these regulations to the industry.

Kristin Smith was one of the first members of the association and the former referent of the Senate and blockchain lobbyist. She told the Washington Post that she would take on the function of "directing" the organization in the first stages of its existence, adding: "I spent a lot of time doing work on spreading basic knowledge in this space, and I'm happy that I can deal exclusively with these issues."

"The blokchain association is an attempt to gather the leading companies of this space together so that lawmakers know that they are communicating with companies that welcome regulation where it is appropriate. We are not the companies that try to outwit the system. We are trying to create a legal and regulatory system, which will stand the test of time," said Mike Lempres, head of the legal department and risk department of the Coinbase exchange.

In July, Crypto-exchange Coinbase established a Political Action Committee (PAC), presumably to lobby for crypto currency in the US Congress. PAC is an organization that collects and spends money on political campaigns. PAC supports labor, business or ideological interests and can be used to participate in activities for or against a particular law or political candidate.

Earlier, in 2014, Bitcoin Foundation hired the Washington-based law firm Thorsen French Advocacy to inform lawmakers about the benefits of a decentralized digital currency.

The company's executive director said that only when governments are properly informed about caabilities of the Bitcoin, the social and economic advantages of technology are recognized, the proposed innovations will accelerat and the chance of adopting technology will increase. The co-founder of the Falcon Global Capital crypto investment fund, Brett Stapper, set the goal of educating "elected officials" and proposing recommendations on how to adopt regulatory laws.

Last year, David Schweikert, a Republican from Arizona, and Colorado Democrat Jared Polis formed a bipartisan lobby group called Congressional Blockchain Caucus, whose goal was educating legislators and participating in development of a sound regulatory framework governing activities related to blockade technology.

Currently, the crypto-currency regulation is mainly within the purview of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), while lawmakers have focused on gathering information and opinions about the industry before adopting federal legislation.

The created blockchain association will pay special attention to taxation issues and the rules of customer identification and combating money laundering that apply to crypto-exchange exchanges and start-ups, at least as a priority.

source: washingtonpost.com