The Blockchain Association released its annual report on Wednesday, November 22nd, showcasing the challenges and highlights faced by the crypto sector this year.
Driving crypto forward
Founded in 2018, the Blockchain Association is a crypto advocacy group spearheaded by CEO Kristin Smith. According to their website, the organization’s goal is to advance “a future-forward, pro-innovation national policy and regulatory framework for the crypto economy.”
In particular, the report details the Blockchain Association’s launch of 14 “issue-based and sector-specific working groups” covering significant conversations happening across Web3.
Moreover, the advocacy group engaged in 175 House and Senate meetings and joined nearly 30 calls with White House officials.
“Besides legislative efforts in Congress, our team has filed many comment letters with regulatory agencies to ensure the rulemaking process is fair, narrowly tailored, and does not negatively impact digital asset innovation in the U.S.,” said the Blockchain Association’s Senior Counsel, Marisa Copel and Senior Policy Director, Sarah Milby.
“The trials of 2023 have only reaffirmed our commitment to our mission, and as we look to the future, we do so with optimism, resilience, and a drive to further our shared vision,” stated Dan Spuller, Senior Director of Industry Affairs for the Blockchain Association.
Walking the walk
The announcement of the Blockchain Association’s 2023 report comes days after the organization filed an amicus curiae brief with a U.S. appellate court against the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for their decision to sanction Tornado Cash.
“If allowed to stand, this overreach will have sweeping consequences – weakening the digital asset industry, jeopardizing law-abiding Americans’ financial privacy, and effecting a vast expansion of OFAC’s power,” concluded the brief.
A changing regulatory landscape
The release of the report follows news of Binance founder, Changpeng Zhao, stepping down from his role as the crypto exchange’s CEO as U.S. regulators announced swift enforcement actions against him and his company.
“This is one of the largest penalties we have ever obtained from a corporate defendant in a criminal matter,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.
As part of their settlement plan, Binance must surrender $4.3 billion in penalties and forfeitures and exit the U.S. market.
“Let me be clear: we’re also sending a message to the virtual currency more broadly today and for the future,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. “If virtual currency exchanges and financial technology firms wish to realize the tremendous benefits of being part of the US financial system and serving US customers, they must play by the rules.”
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