The Blockchain Association, one of the largest cryptocurrency lobbying groups, has announced that it will move its resources out of New York to concentrate on federal policy. The CEO of the organization, Kristin Smith, has stated that the group will continue to hire full-time staff in Washington D.C. to promote its mission of advancing the future of crypto in the United States.
Reasons for the Shift
The move comes in response to an increase in enforcement actions by US federal regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC has targeted high-profile cases, including charges against Terraform Labs and its CEO, Do Hyeong Kwon, as well as against celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Soulja Boy. Additionally, the agency has recently served a Wells notice to crypto exchange Coinbase. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has also taken a firm stance, bringing charges against crypto giant Binance for allegedly offering unregistered crypto derivatives products in the US.
As some lawmakers attempt to create legislation to regulate crypto, bills are expected to be introduced in the coming months. House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., announced during the Consensus 2023 conference that his committee and the House Agriculture Committee plan to introduce comprehensive legislation soon.
New York Regulation
The Blockchain Association’s move out of New York follows an increase in regulatory activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Last month, the department passed a law that requires companies holding a BitLicense to pay assessment fees similar to those required of insurance and banking firms. Earlier this year, the regulator also announced plans to require state-regulated firms to disclose how they account for clients’ digital currency.
In conclusion, the Blockchain Association’s decision to shift resources to focus on federal policy reflects the current regulatory environment for cryptocurrency in the US. As lawmakers and regulatory agencies consider new legislation and enforcement actions, it remains to be seen how the industry will adapt and evolve in response.