The Chamber of Digital Commerce, located in Washington, D.C., is the first U.S. based trade association dedicated to promoting bitcoin and digital assets to public-policy makers. According to its website, the Digital Chamber is an “authoritative representative for the digital commerce industry in Washington.” The Chamber’s goal is stated as promoting the acceptance and use of digital assets.
Launched in July 2014, The Digital Chamber will have an Executive Committee Board to strategize and institute policies; it will be comprised of industry leaders who will fund the Chamber’s efforts in Washington. There will also be an Advisory Board to help steer the message of the Chamber’s policies. Additionally, other businesses and individuals can become General Members and gain access to the Chamber’s resources and attend select events. Both the Executive Committee and the General Members will play a role in the Chamber’s policy discussions and initiatives.
They will both respond to the press and explain to the government and public how digital assets work and add value to society. The Chamber intends to launch its public policy campaign in January 2015, at the start of the 114th Congress.
The Digital Chamber is head up by its founder and president Perianne Boring (@PerianneDC), who formerly wrote a weekly bitcoin column for Forbes and was a congressional staff member. She continues to write about the industry over at The Boring Bitcoin Report.
Boring spoke at the North American Bitcoin Conference about how the budding industry is in need of advocacy in Washington. She mentioned that U.S. digital currency legislation is particularly important because it is very likely other countries will follow our lead.
Helping Sell Washington on Digital Currencies
In late-July, Boring spoke further about the Chamber’s plans at the Bitcoin Center of New York City. She indicated that the Chamber will offer a “full suite” of government affairs services to promote digital currencies in Washington and will have a public affairs office to promote bitcoin and interact with the media. They will have lobbyists on staff to be a resource to public policy makers; the intent is to bring “coordination and organization” to the public policy efforts of the digital currencies industry. The Chamber is also working to organize a third-party coalition to advocate for digital currencies and develop a network of supporters.
The Chamber and BitLicenses
One of the Digital Chamber’s foremost causes has been extending the comment period on New York’s proposed BitLicense legislation. Boring believes that the 45-day comment period is inadequate for those in the industry to properly review and respond. To that end, the Chamber held a press conference at the Coin Congress Sessions in San Francisco to request that the New York Department of Financial Services extend the comment period.
It also recently published an online petition addressed to Benjamin Lawsky, the State of New York’s superintendent of financial services, requesting an extension of the comment period on the proposed BitLicense regulations. The petition cites the need for more time to help the NYDFS develop regulations that “protect consumers, root out illegal activity, and safeguard our national security.”