Crypto leaders form lobby group on Capitol Hill

Several organizations involved with cryptocurrencies and the blockchain have created what they are calling the first crypto lobbying group located in Washington, DC.  The Blockchain Association will represent the crypto and blockchain spaces and work to both create regulations and further adoption of digital currencies. 

The group is comprised of a handful of industry leaders, such as Coinbase, Circle and Protocol Labs.  Several crypto investment entities have signed on as well, including Polychain Capital and the Digital Currency Group.  The organization hopes to represent investors, entrepreneurs and established institutions that are working on projects built around blockchain technology. 

The group will also represent mainstream crypto companies that want to operate in the political realm, mainly focusing on policy issues and crypto from a US tax law standpoint.  It will further assist lawmakers in the creation of Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering policies. 

According to Mike Lempres, the chief legal and risk officer for Coinbase, "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."

Coinbase already has in place a political action committee (PAC), which it launched a few months ago.  The PAC works to attract contributions to sway political opinion for or against legislation, candidates or ballot initiatives.

Coin Center Executive Director Jerry Brito sees the creation of a new lobby group as a positive sign of how the crypto industry is maturing.  He explained, "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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