Former Senior Obama Adviser Directs Lobbying and Policy Strategy for London Crypto Company

Former Senior Obama Adviser Directs Lobbying and Policy Strategy for London Crypto Company

Jim Messina participates in a panel discussion during the Milken Institute’s Annual World Conference at the Beverly Hilton on April 29, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.

Michael Kovac | Getty Images

Jim Messina, former President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff, offers some strong lobbying guidance to the London-based crypto exchange as the industry prepares for new regulations in the US and abroad.

The veteran political activist joined the Blockchain.com board of directors early last year and became a principal advisor on government relations and policy strategy, chief business officer Lynne Castleman said in an interview with CNBC.

The crypto industry is ramping up pressure around the world with potentially strict regulations on the horizon. The Biden administration released its framework on potential US crypto regulations earlier this month, including ways it can help fight fraud.

Castleman described Messina as a crucial guide to the company’s advocacy and public policy efforts. He noted that Messina is not a registered lobbyist, but often advises her team on lobbying strategy.

“You could say that we are probably one of the most prolific companies when it comes to engaging in crypto-related public policy globally, certainly in the US and Western Europe. This is a direct result of Jim and his guidance on this front,” Castleman said. . Messina, who was Obama’s deputy chief of staff, is now CEO of consulting firm The Messina Group.

Although Messina is not a registered lobbyist, the Messina Group has provided guidance on lobbying and other policy issues to Uber, Belback, Airbnb, Google, Delta Air Lines and Hutchison Whampoa, according to a list of customers on its website.

Besides his tenure advising Obama, Messina has also advised influential government officials, including former UK prime ministers Theresa May and David Cameron, along with Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto, Argentina’s Mauricio Macri and Italy’s Matteo Renzi. Messina chirp He posted pictures of him in the White House while the pictures of Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama were revealed.

Castleman credits Messina with appointing the company to Ian Mayer as head of US policy at Blockchain.com and Giles Swan to manage its European policy. Blockchain.com, which maintains the headquarters of the United States In Miami, it was also among the group of crypto companies that pressure elements Digital Financial Asset Law, which would tighten oversight of the industry in California, where many US crypto companies are based. Castleman said they “offered amendments and comments” after the bill was introduced. He said the “main focus of the amendment” was the “implementation period” of the law.

If the law is signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, the law will take effect in 2025 and require companies, such as digital asset exchanges, to obtain licenses through the state’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

Castleman also noted that Messina guided them on how best to lobby the European Parliament on regulating crypto, known as markets in crypto-asset rules.

Castleman said they had won their last battle with MPs and their staff as the EU was deciding “whether to essentially decide whether or not to make non-custodial purses illegal,” he said. These types of digital wallets work, which is promoted by Blockchain.com on its website Effective way As a highly secure crypto provisioning account.

“It’s central to our commercial belief in the need to give people control of their assets and protect them from all other potential interference. And Jim really got us thinking ‘What is this argument, what will work in Brussels?'” What are these members? Parliament are concerned about it and how do we deal with these concerns? “And as a result of his advisor, having worked with heads of state all over Europe for years, we crafted, I don’t want to call it a campaign but some kind of argument that we went in and met with some ministers and he won-win.”

Swann, the company’s head of European policy, met staff of the European Union’s commissioner for financial services, Mered McGuinness, in May to discuss the so-called money transfer regulation, according to a disclosure report. McGuiness criticized cryptocurrencies, saying that digital assets were “one of the newest ways to launder money” in a tweet last year.


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