The Bitcoin Foundation has, after only two years, retained Monica Monaco to assist in establishing working relationships with political leaders in the European Union.

Monaco is founder and managing director of TRUST EU, a Brussels based group that advises its clients on EU legislative relevant initiatives. She has been based in Brussels for eleven years and has an extensive network of connections and extensive knowledge of payment systems, e-commerce, and consumer credit as it applies to EU policy. The European Union is the largest economy in the world currently and promoting Bitcoin is vital to its success.

- Monica Monaco

Jim Harper, Global Policy Council for the Bitcoin Foundation had this to say about the foundations expansion:

“With the new European Parliament and Commission being formed up, now is the right time to engage with Brussels. As we’ve been doing in the United States, we’ll be introducing the foundation, educating policymakers about Bitcoin, and sharing Bitcoin’s achievements and potential in terms of financial inclusion with leading policymakers and public officials.”

- Jim Harper

Monica Monaco certainly brings a great deal to the table. She spent a decade as Senior Manager for EU Relations and Regulatory Affairs while working for VISA’s legal department.

This position made her responsible for VISA Europe’s relations with the European Commission, Parliament and the European Council Working Group on Financial services. Considering her experience with the EU government she also had to work with agencies in several national governments as well.

The Bitcoin Foundation was established in 2012 and one of its prime goals was to educate both lawmakers and regulators about Bitcoin using a combination of private meetings, public comments, expert testimonies, and establish Bitcoin as a respected financial technological innovation.

The avenues opened by this new collaboration with TRUST EU will allow the Bitcoin Foundation to expand its programs “across the pond” into the fertile European market.

The Foundation has its work cut out for it however. European regulators have steadfastly refused to take any real position on Bitcoin or virtual currencies, leaving the decision up to member nations.

Since these nations all use the Euro as their currency however, this often leads to conflicts and jurisdictional headaches for the court systems in these countries.

The European Banking Authority proposed regulating Bitcoin in July but also advised financial institutions to avoid these currencies until regulations could be put into place but some of those nations have continued to encourage Brussels to issue regulations for the whole Union. The Bitcoin Foundation also has a number of affiliates around the world in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Bangladesh and Canada that are doing much the same work.

Groups like this act not only as educational resources, but also as self defense mechanisms by combatting the ignorance surrounding virtual currencies that most lawmakers are victims of. Striving to change this dynamic, the Bitcoin Foundation has even gone as far as to file briefs in Amicus Curie on Bitcoin related criminal cases when prosecutors apply the wrong laws in the case.

[Editor’s note: Look out for a 1-on-1 interview with Monica Monaco in the coming days on Cointelegraph]

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