The Blockchain Association, a leading trade association and lobbying group, has hired Ron Hammond as its new director of government relations.
The Blockchain Association has been one of Washington, D.C.'s biggest advocates for the crypto industry since its launch in 2018. Executive director Kristin Smith recently appeared on Cointelegraph's Top 100 list.
Hammond, meanwhile, cut his teeth working on crypto policy for Representative Warren Davidson, most notably the Token Taxonomy Act, which is also the origin of the relationship with the Blockchain Association. It was at Davidson's roundtable for crypto industry stakeholders back in September 2018 that the Blockchain Association made its inaugural public appearance, Hammond told Cointelegraph.
Subsequently, Hammond worked as a lobbyist for Ripple before going independent earlier this year.
Hammond is the Blockchain Association's fourth new full-time hire since the new year, “More than doubling the number of permanent, non-intern employees on the team,” said Graham Newhall, the association's communications advisor.
The Blockchain Association's rapid growth has tracked with mass interest in lobbying from the crypto industry, especially in the wake of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's proposals to restrict trading with self-hosted wallets. "We’re bursting at the seams with things we’d like to be doing,” Newhall said of the surge. “It’s been a nice confluence of new members and new team members.”
Beyond responses to FinCEN, Hammond noted that the change in presidential administration makes this a critical time to get involved with new decision makers. He said that he aims to focus on “The big issues that are being picked up from the previous administration," namely “securities law and custody, as well as tax.”
Laws and regulations governing blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been soaring in the public consciousness, enabling those involved to get more ambitious. According to Hammond, the new goal within financial regulation is “Making sure that the Blockchain Association has not just a seat of the table, but is actually, in some cases, leading the conversation.”
At the end of January, the Blockchain Association announced the addition of 5 new members, bringing total backing up to 30 firms.