Blockchain payments tech provider Ripple has hired a former political adviser to boost its advocacy efforts with lawmakers in Washington, D.C.
In a tweet reposted by Ripple on Tuesday, the new hire, Ron Hammond, announced that he has joined the firm as its new manager of government relations.
Hammond previously served as a legislative assistant for Rep. Warren Davidson (Republican), where he led the drafting of the “Token Taxonomy Act” – an attempt to bring in legislation giving cryptocurrencies clearer legal standing in the U.S.
The bill, first introduced last year by Reps. Davidson and Darren Soto and reintroduced in April 2019, seeks to exempt certain cryptocurrencies and other digital assets from federal securities laws. Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Tedd Budd, Scott Perry and Tulsi Gabbard also cosponsored the 2019 version of the bill.
Michelle Bond, Ripple’s global head of government relations, welcomed Hammond to the firm on her LinkedIn account, saying:
“Thrilled to announce Ron William Hammond as Ripple’s Government Relations Manager! Ron brings a wealth of legislative and policy experience – excited to have him on board as we continue to work closely with lawmakers, regulators, and partners worldwide!”
Hammond’s knowledge of securities legislation may well come in handy for the firm. Ripple has notably been accused in lawsuits of selling unregistered securities via the XRP token that powers one of its banking payments products.
With the U.S. also possibly moving to take a tough stance on crypto regulation, Ripple has also appealed to lawmakers not to stifle innovation by lumping all cryptocurrencies together.
In a July blog post, the firm said in an open letter to Congress:
“We urge you to support regulation that does not disadvantage U.S. companies using these technologies to innovate responsibly, and classifies digital currencies in a way that recognizes their fundamental differences—not painting them with a broad brush.”
Capitol Hill image via Shutterstock