Cryptocurrency Learns How to Lobby, But Whose Benefits Are Being Served?


There is concern that lobbying groups that have formed may have interests that do not correspond to a complete cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole.

Nonetheless, it is too quick to assess the risk of such close ties.

Money is power. This may be an old cliché, but the existence of pressure groups in Washington, London and other centers of power may suggest that it has at least one-grain truth. Only in the United States spent $ 3.37 billion for lobbying politicians in 2017, while the annual total amount has surpassed $ 3 billion a year since 2008.

Since lobbying is a significant economic activity, this is why the growth of cryptosystems for the first time introduces companies based on the crypto and blockchain. Although their initial moves in that direction were modest and inaccessible, they recently acquired ground, and Coinbase, Circle and other companies announced the creation of the Blockchain Association in September.

However, although these obvious good news for cryptography, one must fear that the lobbying groups that have formed have interests that do not correspond to the complete ecosystem of cryptography. As such, their appearance may be beneficial to some companies, platforms or crypt valued by others.



Bitcoin Foundation and Coin Center
Crypto took its first steps in lobbying in July 2014 when the Bitcoin Foundation - a non-governmental organization devoted to promoting Bitcoin adoption - hired Thorsen French Advocacy to lobby for Washington's lobbyists.

"Representatives and regulators who have studied bitcoin take a reasonable view that governments should seek benefits and mitigate risks," said Jim Harper, Global Advisor to the Foundation Foundation at the time. "We deliver this message to Capitol Hill so that the Bitcoin community can focus on creating tools and services that enrich and enhance the lives of people around the world."

Two months later, Coin Center was founded. Encouraged by investments by companies such as Coinbase, BitGo, and BitPay, this Washington-based group said its mission was to communicate with politicians and the public - the benefits of encryption and decentralization technology.

"We are defending interests," said Jerry Brito, Executive Director, in January 2015. "We are not defending any particular company or industry; we just believe this technology offers many advantages to consumers and the economy in general, and the world in general."



Since its inception in September 2014, Coin Center has gradually increased its visibility in Washington and its activities. His breakthrough occurred in February 2017 when he announced the formation of Congress Blockchain Caucus, a bipartisan congressional group (currently all members are men) "dedicated to improving understanding of technology blockchain as well as a sound public policy geared towards development without undue regulation."

And with a group of passengers firmly established at Capitol Hill, the Coin Center was able to put more pressure on crypto-friendly legislation.

In September, members of the group presented two accounts and congressional resolutions. The first law, the law on the insurance of a taxpayer with a fork of commodities, would substantially liberate owners of novelties from paying taxes on those coins until clear rules are established. The Second, Blockchain's regulatory security law is designed to release nodes, miners, and other "non-custody" elements of the cryptocurrency asset ecosystems as transmitters or Financial institutions.

What interests you?
The fact that the Coin Center has managed to convey these accounts to Congress is undoubtedly a triumph for still growing crypto sectors.

That said, the initiatives they initiated raise the question of who will benefit from crypto lobbying.

Specifically, club resolution suggests that cryptography and work can benefit the ordinary user account as it advocates avoiding "unjustified restrictions" on these organizations, as well as a real, consistent and simple legal environment. "

Lightweight touch can be beneficial to the profitability of the cryptographic sector, but minimal regulatory regimes may potentially expose average users to various risks, such as piracy of insufficiently protected exchanges, scams or risky initial transactions, coin offerings (ICOs). It could also simply favor the development of cryptocurrency as an asset rather than as a real currency.



This risk emphasized by the way in which current crops are more reliant on cryptographic exchanges than on other blockade-related organizations. Bitfinex, Kraken, eToro Support and Urbit Corner Center (as it was the case of Coinbase), while CryptoUK British Trade Body, has members of CEX.io, eToro, and Coinbase.

Another concern is the prevalence of Bitcoin in other parts with some lobbying groups (e.g., the Bitcoin Foundation). For example, five Board members Corner Center, both have an interest in Bitcoin (Alex Morcos, developed by BTC, and Wences Casares, fund manager of the Bitcoin Xapo bidding). Also, there is CTO Coinbase, one professor of economics, and another executive director Jerry Brito.

While Coin Center has a relatively diverse mix of fans, other groups include investors and members who are too closely related.

For example, the members of the Association are Blockchain Circuit Coinbase and Protocol Labs, and the investment is the Digital Currency Group, the investment blockchain and Polychain Capital, an investment blockchain company. Here it is essential that the Digital Currency group invests in the Circle, Coinbase and Protocol labs, which means that the four companies are part of the same stable funding/reservation fund.

This undermines the feeling that Blockchain Association, among other cryptographic groups, has a truly diverse range of views and interests. Notwithstanding, it is too early to assess the risks associated with such close relationships, given that the crypto-computer sector currently has little concrete lobster success.

Bitcoin Foundation, Coin Center and CryptoUK did not respond to comment requests.


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