A group of the world’s largest tech companies have come together in a bid to lobby Congress over regulation of bitcoin and other digital currencies, in a move that could spark a significant overhaul in the global financial system.
Tech giants Apple, Amazon, Google, Intuit and PayPal have agreed to work in partnership on the issue, forming a new lobby group known as Financial Innovation Now.
Among other things, the group is calling for a federal-level money transfer license, designed to override current state rules. They propose a scheme managed by the Treasury Department, which comes amid a series of other suggestions for how payment systems should be overhauled.
The group is actively looking for a legislative solution to their agenda, and will lobby in Washington for the establishment of a new series of regulations surrounding the technology.
Brian Peters, the group’s executive director, was unequivocal in their demands.
“This is a top priority for us. We’re proactive pushing for it and we are serious about legislating this … None of our priorities really actually delve into bitcoin or the other cryptocurrencies specifically. However, a lot of what we are pushing for does connect to the work many in that community are doing.”
Their proposals are designed to reduce the friction involved in licensing at individual state levels, which Financial Innovation Now suggests will help the tech industry remove existing barriers to innovation and new products.
“The main reason we are pursuing it is because our companies have encountered a significant amount of friction and delay in the state-by-state money transmission licensing process … It’s the delay and the friction that’s really a hindrance to the ability to deliver products and services to the market in a way that is consistent with the pace of innovation in the modern economy.”
As a comparatively new technology, blockchain and digital currencies like bitcoin have yet to find the same legislative certainty as other markets.
A move to introduce this type of scheme at a federal level would streamline the process for businesses, while providing a further shot in the arm for bitcoin, as it hits another new high-water mark in price this week.
The newly launched group will operate from offices in Washington, D.C., and will draw on representation from each of the major constituent companies.