Federal Agency Representatives Meeting to Discuss Bitcoin

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

The Bitcoin Foundation ishosting an Aug. 26 conference during which representatives from variousU.S. agencies will attend. The foundation is hoping to use the event toeducate law-enforcement officials about the cryptocurrency’s protocol anddistributed finance.

Among those attending theevent, being held at the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, D.C., includehigh-level representatives from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, theFederal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Internal Revenue Service, and the FederalReserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the FBI, the DrugEnforcement Administration, the Secret Service and the Department of HomelandSecurity.

From CoinDesk:

Patrick Murck, Brian Klein,Marco Santori and Peter Vessenes will represent the Bitcoin Foundation at theevent, and Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at CatoInstitute, will also be present. Murck … believes that, once theserepresentatives understand bitcoin, they will be able to make better decisionsand develop new methodologies for identifying and interceding illicit activity.“Bitcoin and distributed finance is here to stay, and our preferred pathforward is a cooperative one, where we all can help ease each other’stransition into an inclusive and distributed global financial system,” Murckadded.

He views the conference asthe beginning of a conversation about the appropriate role of government andlaw enforcement in the emerging digital currency space. “Our hope is that thisis the beginning of an open and transparent dialog between good-faithstakeholders to find common ground and develop public-private partnerships.”

Murck said itis ”refreshing” that U.S. regulators at the federal level are taking aresponsible approach to working with the industry to understand these issues.“Contrast that with what we are seeing at the state level, where regulatorsseem more interested in rushing to conclusions and tripping over themselves tobe first-movers without regard to the unintended consequences for the industryand U.S. policy at the national level.”

On Tuesday, the foundationis meeting with council and staff members of several US congressmen andsenators at Capitol Hill to discuss legal issues surrounding bitcoin.

Having the top agencies thatoversee U.S. financial and monetary matters at the conference will surely helpboth sides to better understand their roles, especially as it relates tomoney-transmitter laws, alleged violations of which have prompted the closingsof various bitcoin exchanges. But the conference appears to be focusesprimarily on Bitcoin, so it may not address the plethora of other virtualcurrencies vying to compete with Bitcoin and what, if anything, makes one morelikely to be involved—either directly or indirectly—in illicit activities thananother. Expect transparency and compliance with money-transmitter laws to bekey subject areas during the event, along with tax-paying and -reportingresponsibilities.

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