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Crypto lobby groups are gaining traction in Washington as the threat of regulatory bottleneck looms

The blockchain industry is looking to shed the negative association between digital assets and crime as the threat of additional regulatory oversight looms.
Crypto-focused lobby groups in Washington, D.C. are playing an increasingly vital role in reorienting policymakers away from the view that virtual currencies are used primarily for illegal transactions. Now, they are preparing for potentially their biggest battle yet. Blockchain Association, an industry trade group representing crypto firms, has added ten members to its brass since December 2020, bringing its total to 34. Kristin Smith, the group’s executive director, told Bloomberg that her members are extremely concerned about federal regulators clamping down on the industry over misplaced fears. “We in the industry think it’s hugely problematic,” she said, adding that, “it misses the entire point of this innovation.”Smith was commenting on recent proposals by the Financial Action Task Force and Treasury Department to increase surveillance of the cryptocurrency market over concerns about money laundering and other illicit activities. The proposals, which could be finalized later this year, would place more burdens on investors and blockchain networks. Coin Center, a leading D.C.-based advocacy group, is raising money in preparation for a lengthy lobbying battle or lawsuit over the proposed regulations. Jeremey Brito, the group’s executive director, told Bloomberg: “Our job is to say absolutely there is a real risk here and that we all need to work together, but don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater.”Grayscale, the world’s largest digital …
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