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2021-04-07

Crypto-lobbyists in Washington

Cryptocurrency-focused lobby groups in Washington are playing an increasingly important role in redirecting policymakers away from the view that digital currencies are primarily used for illegal transactions. Now they are preparing for, potentially, their biggest battle to date. 

 

The Blockchain Association, an industry trade group representing cryptocurrency companies, has added 10 members to its brass as of December 2020, bringing its total to 34. Kristin Smith , the group's executive director, told Bloomberg that the association's members are very concerned about blockchain being blocked by federal regulators in the industry because of unfounded concerns.

 

Smith was commenting on recent proposals by the Financial Action Task Force and the Treasury Department to increase oversight of the cryptocurrency market over concerns about money laundering and other illegal activities. The proposals, which could be finalized later this year, would place a greater burden on investors and blockchain networks.

 

Coin Center, a leading DC-based advocacy group, is raising money in preparation for a lengthy lobbying battle or lawsuit over the proposed regulations. 

JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock have hailed the emergence of Bitcoin as a new asset class, and in some cases as one that could challenge gold in gaining an edge in storing value .

 

Cryptocurrencies have reached several important milestones this year. The combined market capitalization of all digital assets surpassed $1 trillion in January before doubling less than three months later.