Coinbase, a highly popular bitcoin exchange and payment processor, has joined the Internet Association. This association is a Washington DC-based lobbying group, aimed at promoting policies that encourage freedom and innovation on the Internet.
This group, founded in 2012, has some high profile members that Coinbase will now be working with — such as Amazon, Facebook, Lyft, Uber, and Airbnb. However, Coinbase is actually the first Bitcoin company to join the Association.
Although Coinbase is the first Bitcoin company to join the Internet Association, they are not the first Bitcoin-related organization to participate in lobbying. Throughout 2014, the Bitcoin Foundation spent the majority of its resources on lobbying governments to pass what they considered “sensible” bitcoin regulation. The Foundation even went as far as to hire a top DC lobbying group to pander to the politicians on its behalf.
The Bitcoin Foundation’s activities garnered harsh criticism from the Bitcoin community, especially when it came out in support of the controversial New York BitLicese. These actions severely tarnished the reputation of the Foundation, forcing it to refocus its efforts on Core development in 2015.
Coinbase may not get the same level of criticism from the libertarian-centric Bitcoin community, though. The Internet Association’s efforts are geared towards online regulation in general, rather than Bitcoin-specific legislation.
Image courtesy of the Internet Association.