MasterCard lobbying on digital currency bitcoin

Visamastercard30 Apr 2014 / The Hill – MasterCard is paying lobbyists to focus on the growing digital currency bitcoin, according to federal lobbying disclosure records.

In a quarterly report filed this month, lobbying firm Peck Madigan Jones said that five of its lobbyists were concentrating on “Bitcoin and mobile payments,” among more than a dozen other issues, on behalf of MasterCard.

The credit card giant is the first company to officially lobby on the virtual currency, according to federal disclosure records.

In a statement sent to The Hill, MasterCard said that it was “gathering information in connection with recent congressional hearings to better understand the policy issues around virtual and anonymous currencies.”

The bitcoin company Xapo has been reported to be working on a bitcoin debit card that uses MasterCard and Visa networks, but MasterCard on Tuesday denied that it had any relationship with the company.

Bitcoins have been controversial on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers have viewed them skeptically and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) even called for an outright ban. Still, others have been quicker to embrace them….. Read more

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