While there is a lot of argument about exactly how much influence the financial industry, especially the banks, has on the United States and other governments, there is little argument that they have more influence than any other special interest group. The 2012 Presidential race saw more than US$1 billion spent just by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. This is not counting Congressional or state and local races. Four of Obama’s top ten contributors were from the financial industry and three of those were banks. The banks could soon find themselves with some competition however after a new trade association opened up in New York in response to the draft of new regulations that was released last week.
- Regulation Panel at TNABC
The interesting thing about the organization is that their target is not the New York State Assembly but the Federal Congress in Washington DC. The association is called the Chamber of Digital Commerce and its formation was announced at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Chicago on Saturday.
It is registered as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, which gives the group the legal right to act as a lobbyist for the Bitcoin industry and the effort is being headed up by Perianne Boring, a former Congressional Staffer, and journalist with wide connections in Washington. It has already received backing from RRE Ventures and Tally Capital.
The organization was formed to bring the truth to DC policy makers about Bitcoin in an attempt to counter the large amount of false or misleading information that is being pumped out by traditional media sources. The Trade Association is not in competition with the Bitcoin Foundation Ms. Boring said, with both organizations promoting Bitcoin acceptance and education.
Indeed, the decision might have been good for all, at least from public relations standpoint, because of the negative attention that the foundation has received recently after controversial new Board members were elected and at least one well known figure, Andreas Antonopoulos, resigned due to “lack of transparency.”
The hope is that this group, and others to follow, can help counter the massive amounts of influence put on law makers by the financial industry. Supporters believe that it is this undue influence that tilts the balance in the economy and leads to the income inequality that we see today in much of the world.