As director of Bitcoin Magazine and a Bitcoin Foundation board member, Elizabeth Ploshay is one of Bitcoin’s most prominent figures. Now she plans to bring her ideas and influence to Washington, D.C., where she hopes to change the national dialogue about Bitcoin.
[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]n the classic film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, the naive Jefferson Smith is chosen to fill his state’s vacant Senatorial seat. He goes to Washington with an idealistic, yet minor goal–to build a national boys’ camp. As he maneuvers the political landscape of Washington, he faces the stark realities of government corruption and eventually exposes that corruption to the American public.
Seventy-five years after Mr. Smith Goes to Washington debuted in theaters, Bitcoin evangelist Elizabeth Ploshay is about to embark on her own journey to Washington. Like Jefferson Smith, Ploshay comes to Washington with an idealistic goal; however, she does not share his naivety. No less than in Mr. Smith’s fictional story, Washington remains a hotbed of political corruption and corporate greed. Ploshay must successfully navigate that climate in order to achieve her goal, which she states is to achieve as much Bitcoin integration as she can during the upcoming midterm elections.
I hope to use my experience as a former Congressional Staffer in Washington DC to bring bitcoin, and BitPay, into as many political campaigns as possible.
Ploshay’s foray into politics will begin next week, as she will be speaking at next week’s Bitcoin In the Beltway conference, which purports to bring Bitcoin into the “lion’s den” of Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth Ploshay’s presence in Washington will be a welcome influence for the cryptocurrency community. Thus far, the U.S. government has been very noncommittal about how they plan to classify Bitcoin for tax purposes, but many politicians have expressed contempt for the digital currency and have warned investors against buying into Bitcoin. Government statements about Bitcoin cause the price to fluctuate quite a bit, but the government affects the Bitcoin price in other ways, too. For example, the U.S. Marshals recently announced a decision to auction off a lump sum of the nearly 30,000 bitcoins they seized from the Silk Road, which caused the Bitcoin price to fall rapidly. Many fear that if Bitcoin grows so much that it begins to rival fiat government money, the government will seek to outlaw companies that facilitate Bitcoin transactions. Hopefully, Elizabeth Ploshay and other Bitcoin evangelists can persuade government officials that such interference would harm both the United States and global economies.
Ploshay’s journey to Washington comes as part of a decision to leave her job as Director of Operations at Bitcoin Magazine and join BitPay as an account manager. Ploshay announced her decision in an official BitPay blog post. In addition to the opportunity to bring Bitcoin to Washington, Ploshay stated that BitPay’s global perspective was instrumental in her decision to leave Bitcoin Magazine and join the Bitcoin payment processor. She noted BitPay’s commitment to changing the world, which includes its decision to let charities and select nonprofits to use the BitPay service for free.