A group called Blockchain Alliance has been formed that includes the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security as well as representatives of private companies such as CoinBase, BitFury, and BitPay. The main goals are to improve the reputation of all digital currencies as well as educate investigators how the technology behind such currencies works.
This is yet another move by the US that shows dedication of the country to approve and regulate digital currencies such as the bitcoin, which are already widely accepted among Americans. Last month, for example, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) named virtual currencies as commodities like coffee, oil and corn. In a separate event, the Bank of America filed an application to patent an alternative wire transfer system that uses cryptocurrencies for fiat currency transfers.
Blockchain Alliance includes popular bitcoin companies such as Coinbase, BitStamp and BitGo; all of them have agreed to provide technical assistance to digital currency investigators as well as to help fighting unlawful use of such currencies. According to the group, the alliance is set to host conference calls and maintain a mailing list for law enforcement officials in order to help them do their job more efficiently.
Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, said that having an open dialogue with law enforcement and policymakers would help reduce anxiety about the transformative technology. Boring also added that it wasn’t a secret that “bitcoin has perception issues, which is a roadblock to mainstream adoption.”
Due to their very secure technology and anonymity, bitcoin and all other virtual currencies have become a top choice for making and receiving illegal payments. Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, a Bitcoin advocacy group and alliance participant said, “The more law enforcement understands how this technology works, the more they can understand what they can ask for, how they can ask for it.”