In September, Coin Center announced that they were launching a blockchain-technology think tank with a $1 million budget. Tuesday, they kicked off the website, which includes a number of resources.
The think tank, which they call “a new voice for Bitcoin,” is dedicated to spreading knowledge about cryptocurrency technologies. Coin Center runs under the vision of Executive Director Jerry Brito, who left his position as senior research director at Mercatus Center to start the advocacy group. They want to encourage a more supportive regulatory climate for Bitcoin.
“Success for us is a world in which regulators, the media, and the public understand what cryptocurrency technologies are (and aren’t) and why they’re important,” Brito said in an introductory open letter.
Brito called Coin Center a think tank for “pragmatists,” following the idea that cryptocurrencies will be regulated in some capacity, whether some people like it or not. It is important to educate decision-makers, they believe, so that decisions can be informed: “Without a clear understanding of the technology, it’s easy to get the policy wrong.” The think tank plans to focus on issues where Bitcoin has had run-ins with the law, such as consumer protection, privacy, and AML/KYC laws. They have already started chatting with a slew of government agencies, such as FinCEN and the CFTC.
People are split in how they want to approach regulators. Some radical Bitcoin proponents, like Cody Wilson, want the government to stay out completely and think it would be better not to talk to regulators at all.
The website has launched with a number of resources regarding Bitcoin basics—including an introduction to multisig technology and a primer on difference between Bitcoin payments and credit card payments.
As Cointelegraph's William Suberg reported in September, the advocacy group has rounded up plenty of support:
“Members on board include Mosaic coauthor and Netscape cofounder entrepreneur Marc Andreessen, economist Professor Susan Athey and even Bitcoin core developer Jeff Garzik. At funding level, extant Bitcoin startups BitPay, Coinbase, BitGo and Xapo join a lengthy list of private and corporate investors, a press release issued Thursday confirms.”
Fellows at the think tank also include New York Law School Professor Houman B. Shadab and Start Bitcoin founder Elizabeth Stark.
But even with all the support, they want to be realistic about where Bitcoin currently stands:
“We think Bitcoin and block chain technologies have a bright future, but it’s going to take a lot of work.”
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