Category Archives: Blockchain Association

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Top Drawer Bitcoin Advocates with Washington Day Jobs

Top Drawer Bitcoin Advocates with Washington Day Jobs

As one writer recently observed, Washington has its fair share of undercover Bitcoin enthusiasts other than Blockchain Association member and Republican Congressman Tom Emmer, and once one peels back the political veneer to get a sense of what US politicians actually think about cryptocurrency, some surprising views emerge.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis is perhaps one of the loudest voices advocating cryptocurrency along with Emmer. The entrepreneur turned politician has a distinctive modern-technology background; being an early adopter of the internet he founded American Information Systems, a dial-up internet service provider in the mid-1990s. Additionally, he has founded several cyber-businesses and was reported to have received USD 2,500 in Bitcoin campaign donations in 2014.

Ex-vice president Al Gore is another pro-crypto big gun in Washington, although he keeps it pretty quiet, although his allegiance is clear with comments such as, “I think the fact that within the Bitcoin universe an algorithm replaces the functions of [the government]… is actually pretty cool”.

New Mexico’s Former Governor Gary Johnson showed his true colors when he accepted Bitcoin donations during the 2016 US Elections, despite Clinton and Trump turning away from digital currency, which might have boosted their appeal to millennial voters; an opportunity missed perhaps, or just lack of foresight in not understanding who actually uses Bitcoin.

Former Republican presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul has done an about turn, from once shunning Bitcoin to pointing out that the hallmark digital currency could even prevent another US recession, pointing out:

“The system we have today is not viable, it’s out of control, the amount of debt that’s building up we might end up with the dollar but not the system… That is the system, and we are flat out broke, we’ve been broke for some time. There will be liquidation, when the debt gets this big, the debt has to disappear.”

Paul suggests that the government keep its nose out cryptocurrency and “turn it loose”.


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Crypto Corporates Form Blockchain Lobbying Group in Washington

Blockchain companies in the United States are coming together to promote blockchain and cryptocurrency legitimacy in the form of a new blockchain lobbying group based in Washington DC.

Lobbying the American government

Named “The Blockchain Association”, the group is to represent investors and entrepreneurs in the blockchain/cryptocurrency space who are seeking to operate compliantly with the US political system. Furthermore, the group is setting out address the ongoing and numerous issues relating to the taxation and classification of cryptocurrencies in present US law.

The group will also be with lawmakers to develop clear policies on anti-money laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC). As the new entity grows, it will begin other efforts, although these short-term goals will be the early focus.

As reported by the Washington Post, the founding members of the association have been confirmed as Coinbase, Circle, Polychain Capital, Digital Currency Group and Protocol Labs. The backgrounds of these companies cover certain areas such as technology, cryptocurrency exchanges and investors.

Mike Lempres, Coinbase’s chief legal and risk officer, explained the rationale behind this effort: “The Blockchain Association is an effort to get the preeminent companies in the space together so [policymakers] know they’re hearing from companies that welcome regulation when it’s appropriate. We’re not companies looking to game the system, but trying to develop a legal and regulatory system that’ll stand the test of time.”

The association has begun recruiting already, beginning with former Republican lobbyist and former congressional staff member Kristin Smith on board, as well as Protocol Lab’s General Counsel Marvin Ammori. Founder of public sector technology company Hangar, Josh Mendelsohn is also taking a position.

Jerry Brito, executive director of the non-profit research and advocacy group Coin Center, is reported to have said that the emergence of such associations is a sign of a maturing industry.

Time for change

It appears as though the United States is undergoing radical changes at institutional and governmental levels; in late July, blockchain technology in public sector projects also received a guidebook from a US-based IT industry trade association called CompTIA.

The guide offers insights into how public sector leaders should approach blockchain technologies should they wish to implement and adopt the technology into public sector projects.

In July also, the US Chamber of Digital Commerce published a paper called ‘Understanding Digital Tokens: Market Overviews & Guidelines for Policy Makers and Practitioners’, a document that covers regulations, the need for legal clarifications as well as token classification.

Other entities within the US political system are also making bullish charges for blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation, with the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) believing that the United States is falling behind the rest of the world with regards to blockchain innovation.


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