Bitcoin gets a lobbyist

The world’s first investment fund that focuses solely on the virtual currency bitcoin is bringing some lobbying muscle to Washington.

Falcon Global Capital director Brett Stapper filed paperwork to lobby Congress and federal agencies this week, according to federal lobbying disclose forms.

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The company is the second to formally declare that it is lobbying on the virtual currency, after MasterCard had five lobbyists it hired focus on the cryptocurrency last month. 

According to the paperwork, the San Diego-based investment fund will focus on “education and understanding of Bitcoin and other crypto-graphic based currencies.” 

Falcon markets itself as being able to give clients “an easy entry and exit point into the exciting and fast growing Bitcoin markets while having their investment secured in our Insured Bitcoin vault.” The company’s team sees “Bitcoin as a disruptive force in the way currency is stored, transferred, and regulated around the globe,” it adds on its website.

The fund buys massive amounts of the money on investors’ behalf and promises to secure it in a “digital vault” that is fully insured against any types of theft.

Bitcoins only exist online but owners can exchange them for cash or trade them for goods and services at some retailers. Its price has fluctuated in recent months, from a high of more than $1,000 per bitcoin last year to the current exchange rate of about $500 per bitcoin.

That volatility could make it attractive for shrewd investors, but it has also raised concerns about being unreliable. Bitcoins are also relatively anonymous, which has made them a prime target for drug dealers and other criminals to use for money laundering.

Federal regulators have begun clarifying some of the long-standing legal questions around the money as its prominence has grown in the last year. The IRS recently declared that it should be treated like property and the Federal Election Commission has allowed campaigns to accept small amounts of bitcoin contributions.  

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