A coming together of prominent Bitcoin companies and organizations along with several law enforcement agencies and communities has resulted in the formation of the Blockchain Alliance, a nonprofit that, among other things, will help as a resourceful partner for law enforcement to aid against bitcoin- and block chain-based criminal activities.

A new forum called the Blockchain Alliance has been established to help bridge and inculcate communication and understanding of bitcoin and block chain technology between law enforcementalliance
agencies and prominent players in the bitcoin industry.

Altogether, the Blockchain Alliance will be a quick call away from law enforcement agencies when the latter has questions pertaining to the cryptocurrency and its underlying technology, seeking answers from experts in the industry in order to better understand the blockchain.

It is a forum initiated by prominent figures in the bitcoin industry and not the other way around with a press release confirming that it would be a public-private forum where its participants can share knowledge and seek answers for queries, both ways.

An excerpt from the press release read:

The Alliance will also serve as a forum for open dialogue between law enforcement and the Bitcoin community about issues of concern to make the blockchain more secure and to deter its use for unlawful purposes.

The initiative is founded as a collaborative effort by the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coin Center and supported by a varied range of companies such as BitGo, Bitstamp, BitFinex, Bitnet, Circle, CoinBase, and ItBit among others.

The group’s first director will be Jason Weinstein, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General, who was recently named on the board of BitFury.

Correcting Misperceptions

A significant proportion of the mainstream press tend to go for the juicier headlines and the recent Silk Road trial coupled with the case of a rogue federal agent tasked with the Silk Road investigation are a series of incidents that led to the perception among many that bitcoin is a “currency for criminals.”

Speaking about the need to change the misperception, executive director of Coin Center, Jerry Brito said:

It’s important to correct the misperception of bitcoin as the “currency of criminals.” This misperception can have very real consequences – it can influence how law enforcement, regulators, and lawmakers approach Bitcoin and could undermine the growth of Bitcoin and the blockchain.

Perainne Boring, the president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, added to the sticking point in a statement where she saw the misperception to be a roadblock to bitcoin’s mainstream adoption.

“Having an open dialogue with law enforcement and policymakers will help reduce anxiety about this transformative technology,” she added.

An Alliance, Not a Backdoor

Brito was also clear about the group’s purpose, noting that The Blockchain Alliance will not serve as a backdoor for any law enforcement agency or the government to gain information about bitcoin companies’ customers.

“Rather, they will be higher-level discussions about typologies, trends, and technical issues,” he explained, in a announcing the initiative.

The Blockchain Alliance is already engaged by the Department of Justice, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that recently deemed Bitcoin a ‘commodity’, among other agencies and the group will also interact with other law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world.

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