The Blockchain Association, the leading trade association for the crypto industry in Washington D.C., is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month. With 114 member companies, including prominent names like Coinbase, Kraken, Ripple, and Uniswap, the association aims to advance the future of crypto in the United States and shape policies that ensure its success.
However, the crypto industry is currently facing challenges in gaining support from lawmakers and regulators. Many members of Congress are openly hostile towards crypto’s goals, and there is a lack of regulatory clarity, especially with the recent enforcement actions by SEC Chair Gary Gensler against companies like Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance.
While the Blockchain Association has made some achievements over the past five years, such as opposing a proposed rule from FinCEN and influencing the crypto tax and reporting requirements in President Biden’s infrastructure bill, these wins can be seen as maintaining the status quo rather than advancing the industry’s interests in a positive direction. The legislative process is slow, and it may take a long time to see significant changes in regulations.
The unexpected turn of events, including Gensler’s shift towards a more critical stance on crypto and the legal issues faced by industry figures like Sam Bankman-Fried, suggests the need for a fresh approach from crypto lobbyists. Despite the challenges, the association’s CEO, Kristin Smith, remains confident that the SEC will lose its legal arguments regarding the classification of digital assets as securities. However, it will likely be a lengthy process.
In the coming years, it is hoped that the regulatory landscape for crypto will evolve, but for now, it may be prudent for crypto lobbyists to be humble about their achievements and continue working towards creating a more favorable environment for the industry.