The Bitcoin community has recently formed a public-private forum called the Blockchain Alliance to help fight criminal activity involving Bitcoin and blockchain technology. The forum, founded by the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coin Center is comprised of a coalition of companies and institutions that have collaborated to address public safety concerns about digital currencies and the blockchain.
“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,” said Perianne Boring, President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.
The Blockchain Alliance works 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 collaborate with other U.S. and foreign agencies as well.
“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,” commented Jerry Brito, Executive Director of Coin Center.
“This is an ecosystem that has a lot of companies trying to build businesses on top of the technology and to the extent that it’s associated with crime, that’s no good,” he added.
Jason Weinstein, Partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of cybercrime investigations at the Department of Justice, will serve as Director of the Blockchain Alliance.
According to Weinstein, the idea for the alliance grew out of a series of conversations among Bitcoin industry leaders earlier this year about the currency’s potential and its obstacles. The use of Bitcoin by criminals, and the image problems associated with it, were seen as a key problem, and this group was proposed as a solution.
“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,” Weinstein said.
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.
“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,” BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov shared his opinion.