A digital currency advocacy group is bringing on Matthew Taylor Mellon II, heir to the banking fortune, as its honorary executive committee chairman.
The Chamber of Digital Commerce brings together individuals and businesses that support digital currencies and assets, such as bitcoin. In the role, Mellon -- a longtime bitcoin investor -- will be volunteering his time.
“Our industry faces serious regulatory threats in Washington. If anyone can help our cause, it is Matthew Mellon,” Perianne Boring, the group’s president, said in a statement. “We have been blessed with a powerful ally and are prepared to take the chamber to the next level with Mr. Mellon.”
While the Mellon family fortune began with the founding of Mellon bank in 1869 — and continued with major investments in energy companies and other interests — Matthew told Fortune magazine this summer, “I feel like citizens are fed up with banksters.”
Between a distrust of both the financial industry and the government, Mellon said, virtual currencies could be the solution — eventually replacing the dollar.
“The banks are going to be scratching their heads,” he told the publication, which pegs the family’s overall wealth at $12 billion. Among Mellon’s investments is a $2 million incubator for bitcoin companies called CoinApex.
The group is relatively new, only launching earlier this year. In August, it brought more than two-dozen people from the bitcoin industry to speak with lawmakers and dispel myths. It also hopes to make a splash with a political action committee, though the most recent federal records show it having no donations.
“With the team Perianne Boring is assembling in Washington,” Mellon said in a statement, “the chamber is going to be the leading voice in advocating for digital chamber.”
Mellon once served as the chairman of the New York Republican Party’s finance committee.
This post was updated at 3:38 p.m.