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Crypto Companies Launch Lobby Group in Washington, D.C.

cryptocurrencies Washington DC blockchain lobby group

A group of leading cryptocurrency companies have come together to form a lobbying group, which will represent the interests of the industry to lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

The Blockchain Association was set up to represent crypto exchanges, funds and startups, focusing on giving the industry a voice around legal changes affecting the sector. The group will also champion blockchain education.

The founding members have described the group as part of an effort to normalize relations between the cryptocurrency sector and lawmakers, and counts some of the biggest startups in the sector in their number.

These include Coinbase, Polychain Capital, Protocol Labs, Digital Currency Group and Circle, with the group confirming its first appointment in the form of former Senate aide and Overstock.com lobbyist Kristin Smith.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Smith said she had already been spending time educating lawmakers in blockchain issues, a job she was relishing taking further in her new role.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time doing a lot of the basic education work in this space ... I’m excited to focus exclusively on these issues.”

The Blockchain Association will be advised by Hangar founder Josh Mendelsohn and Protocol Labs general counsel Marvin Ammori.

Mike Lempres, chief legal officer at Coinbase, said the body would lobby in the interests of “reasonable” regulation for the sector.

“The Blockchain Association is an effort to get the pre-eminent companies in the space together so (policy-makers) 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 Blockchain Association will also look at tax laws around crypto exchanges and startups, as well as focusing on anti-money laundering and know-your-customer requirements as they relate to the sector.

The launch has been broadly welcomed across the sector, with Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito saying he was “happy to see this organization stand up.”

“It’s good to have more voices advocating for things we agree about.”

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