Joe Biden’s communications director, Ben LaBolt, will reportedly be banned from handling matters related to any crypto or technology firms he has previously worked with, according to a report. This decision came after a public financial disclosure report revealed that decentralized exchange UniSwap and venture capital firm Andressen Horowitz, among others, were former clients of LaBolt when he was a partner at Bully Pulpit Interactive (BPI).
Although LaBolt holds Bitcoin and Ethereum 2 assets, he will be barred from participating in legal matters, investigations, or contracts involving crypto or tech firms he previously represented. However, he will be allowed to advise on crypto regulation.
The report further stated that LaBolt’s restrictions are in line with ethics rules followed by other senior White House staff. It also mentioned that LaBolt will be able to advise the president’s approach to regulating cryptocurrency and social media companies, despite the restrictions. This follows Biden’s executive order on digital assets signed on last year, which outlines an interagency process that involves 16 high officials, initially starting with the task of producing an elaborate series of reports.
The EO attracted attention from government officials and industry leaders alike. Republican “Crypto Senator” Cynthia Loomis of Wyoming said, “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, stated, “I was expecting certain things, and the positive tone was not necessarily one of them.”
With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, concerns over regulation have been raised, and it seems that the US government is taking steps towards it. In March, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also hinted at the possibility of regulating cryptocurrencies, which could have significant implications for the industry.
While the restrictions on LaBolt’s involvement with crypto and tech firms he previously represented may be seen as a measure to prevent potential conflicts of interest, it remains to be seen how this will impact the administration’s approach to regulating the industry.