Written by Angel Reyes
Jurisdictions around the world are jockeying for a leadership position in the burgeoning blockchain and cryptocurrency revolution, and the individual states in the U.S. are no different.
Already, Ohio has made paying taxes in Bitcoin a reality, and Arizona, Georgia, and Illinois have pending legislation to do similar things, though these efforts are stalled in state legislatures.
One group in Florida it taking the initiative ahead of a state government that seems ambivalent toward crypto.
The Florida Blockchain Business Association was formed by a group of Bitcoin and blockchain enthusiasts and is moving forward with its agenda of promoting the industry in Florida. The FBBA’s goal is to make Florida a friendly regulatory environment for businesses and startups already here as well as attracting investment from outside the state.
The FBBA was formed to fill the knowledge gap between the government and the crypto and blockchain communities. The aim is to allow businesses to thrive and educate policymakers about the massive potential of this nascent technology.
“We’re the first organization in the state of Florida to be advocating on behalf of blockchain and crypto-based businesses to government,” said Samuel Armes, executive director of the FBBA.
Armes, who has done work on blockchain and crypto for the United States Special Operations Command and the Department of State, has experience in finance and policy.
Co-founder Paul Tarantino is an expert in small business and financial services, and co-founder Rosa Shores is the co-founder of Blockspaces, a blockchain incubator that is a big part of Tampa’s downtown redevelopment.
Creating such an organization is a smart move in an industry that will likely become highly competitive. The U.S. has seen more than 300 percent growth in the number of blockchain-related jobs this year alone. With this growth comes the need for collaboration and education.
The FBBA’s plan, according to Armes, is to educate the public and create a conduit for businesses and individuals to reach their political leaders in a more efficient and impactful way.
“We’re looking at the Chief Financial Officers office to see what we can do without having to pass legislation. We would love to help push an initiative to help our members get or maintain bank accounts,” Armes said. “We’re seeing how much we can progress the industry without having to create or sponsor legislation. Although doing just that is certainly a goal of ours. We have to be very careful with any language we are looking to see written into law.”