Several companies in the crypto industry, including Coinbase and Circle, have formed the Blockchain Association, a new trade association to advocate on behalf of the industry. The group will lobby in Washington, D.C. for policies and regulations that protect the value of decentralized, permissionless blockchains and the many solutions that are being built to expand the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
The association aims to create a pro-innovation environment that can meet the growing global demand for accessible, transparent and democratic financial and technical systems. According to the announcement,
“To do that, we’ll foster collaboration between the community and industry leaders, educate policymakers and the public on the benefits of blockchain and related technologies, and advocate for public policy that cultivates and enables innovation and improves lives.”
Founding members include Coinbase, Protocol Labs, Circle, Inter/Stellar, Digital Currency Group and Polychain Capital.
The first hire is Kristin McKenzie Smith who will serve as director of external affairs at the Blockchain Association. Smith is a former congressional aide on Capitol Hill where she focused on technology policy. She also serves as an alumni advisor to NYU’s Blockchain and Digital Asset Forum.
“The unique characteristics of the token economy require an evolved environment that supports our members as they build more inclusive, efficient, and distributed financial systems, and more decentralized web applications.
Today, federal regulators and Congress are looking at consumer protection, regulation of token offerings and secondary token trading, anti-money laundering and know your customer laws, money transmitter licensing, taxation, and user privacy. The decisions they make now will affect the industry for years, so the Blockchain Association will be a liaison to policymakers: we’ll advocate for our community and the opportunities presented by our technologies, and encourage regulatory solutions that protect consumers and support innovation. We seek policies that support the creation and use of digital tokens and assets, and capital formation and trading through robust exchanges. Business practices that harm consumers should be rooted out and those that advance their interests should be encouraged, and legacy legal frameworks often don’t succeed at drawing the right distinction.”
– Blockchain Association
The group will work alongside Coin Center, a non-profit focused on Bitcoin and crypto policy issues.
New trade association gives cryptocurrency industry a voice in DC https://t.co/XYsmqb0pOw
— Coin Center (@coincenter) September 11, 2018
“Our mission is to create an open financial system for the world. There are not clearly defined rules in this industry, which means we have an opportunity to help write them,” says Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase.