Biden’s comms director barred from former crypto clients: Report



United States President Joe Biden will reportedly ban his communications director from handling matters related to any crypto or technology firms he has previously worked with, while still allowing him to advise on crypto regulation.

According to an April 21 Bloomberg Law report, White House Communications Director Ben LaBolt will be barred from “participating in legal matters, investigations, or contracts involving cryptocurrency or technology firms he previously represented.”

Decentralized exchange Uniswap and venture capital firm Andressen Horowitz — an early investor in Coinbase — were both former clients of Bully Pulpit Interactive (BPI), where LaBolt was previously a partner, according to a public financial disclosure report published on April 21.

Both firms were among a list of 23 clients paying fees exceeding $5,000 in a year to BPI.

Ben LaBolt’s Public Financial Disclosure Report. Source: Bloomberg Law

Meta Platforms, Shopify and West Street — the family office of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerburg and his wife, Priscilla Chan — were also included in the list of 23 clients exceeding $5,000 in a year.

Meanwhile, in the assets and income section, LaBolt disclosed that he holds $50,001–$100,000 in Bitcoin (BTC) and $15,001–$50,000 in Ethereum 2 (ETH2).

Ben LaBolt‘s Public Financial Disclosure Report. Source: Bloomberg Law

“LaBolt’s restrictions are in line with ethics rules followed by other senior White House staff,” the report states.

Despite the restrictions expected to be put in place, it was reported that LaBolt would be allowed to advise on the president’s approach to regulating cryptocurrency and social media companies.

This comes after President Biden signed an executive order on digital assets on March 9.

While the executive order didn’t specify any regulatory actions, it outlined an interagency process that will involve 16 high officials, initially starting with the task of producing an elaborate series of reports.

These reports are due at intervals ranging from 90 days to over a year from the publication of the executive order.

Related: Stress test? What Biden’s bank bailout means for stablecoins

The executive order attracted attention from government officials and industry leaders alike.

Republican “Crypto Senator” Cynthia Loomis of Wyoming commented on the executive order, saying, “It’s great to see the Biden administration’s growing interest in digital assets.”

Meanwhile, Ari Redborn, head of legal and government affairs for blockchain-based intelligence firm TRM Labs, said he was “expecting certain things and the positive tone was not necessarily one of them.”

Magazine: Musk hints at suing Microsoft, US Rep. wants Gensler fired, and more: Hodler’s Digest, April 16-22


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