Blockchain Alliance Forms in Washington, DC
A public-private forum to combat criminal activity on the blockchain
October 22, 2015 – Washington, D.C. – Today a public-private forum has been formed by the Bitcoin community to help combat criminal activity involving bitcoin and the blockchain. Founded by the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coin Center, the Blockchain Alliance is comprised of a broad coalition of companies and other institutions that have come together to address public safety concerns about digital currencies and the blockchain.
The Blockchain Alliance will serve as a resource for law enforcement to benefit from the expertise of some of the brightest minds in the blockchain industry for technical assistance in response to challenges faced during investigations. The Alliance will also serve as a forum for open dialogue between law enforcement and the Bitcoin community about issues of concern to make the blockchain more secure and to deter its use for unlawful purposes.
Jason Weinstein, Partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of cybercrime investigations at the Department of Justice and a member of the strategic advisory boards of the Chamber, Coin Center, and BitFury, will serve as Director of the Blockchain Alliance.
Industry participants include the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Coin Center, MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative and developer Gavin Andresen, BitFinex, BitFury, BitGo, Bitnet, BitPay, BitStamp, Blockchain, Bloq, Circle, CoinBase, CoinX, ItBit, Kraken, Noble Markets, and Xapo.
The Blockchain Alliance is engaged with the Department of Justice, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and plans to engage with other U.S. and foreign agencies as well.
Perianne Boring, President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, said, “It’s no secret that Bitcoin has perception issues, which is a roadblock to mainstream adoption. Having an open dialogue with law enforcement and policymakers will help reduce anxiety about this transformative technology. This initiative goes hand-in-hand with the Chamber’s mission of promoting a regulatory approach that supports innovation, jobs and investment. Getting criminals off the blockchain is not only good for public safety — it’s good for business.”
Jerry Brito, Executive Director of Coin Center, said, “We look forward to partnering with the other participating companies and organizations to ensure that the capacity of Bitcoin and the blockchain to benefit so many is not overshadowed by the potential for misuse by a few. Working together, we can promote an approach to enforcement and regulation that supports, rather than stifles, innovation.”
Valery Vavilov, BitFury CEO, said: “Like the Internet 20 years ago, blockchain is a technological phenomenon that opens many possibilities. Just like with the Internet, some have used this innovative technology in illegal ways. We fully understand the importance of combating the criminal activity around bitcoin blockchain. The Blockchain Alliance is an important initiative that will add transparency and help improve public perception of bitcoin blockchain. BitFury is privileged to be part of this collective effort.”
Jason Weinstein, Director of the Blockchain Alliance and Partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, said, “This is an industry-driven effort, and we are proud to be a part of it. The companies participating in this initiative are not only good companies, but they are also good corporate citizens. For the blockchain to thrive, the industry must work together to correct the misperception of bitcoin as the ‘currency of criminals.’ By helping law enforcement agencies address public safety concerns about bitcoin and other digital currencies, we can foster an environment in which the full potential of the blockchain can be realized. Thanks to the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coin Center for their leadership in this important effort.”
About the Blockchain Alliance
The Blockchain Alliance is a nonprofit organization formed to serve as a public-private forum for the Bitcoin community and federal law enforcement agencies. The Blockchain Alliance serves as a resource to help combat criminal activity on the blockchain. For more information please visit: blockchainalliance.org.