The US Department of Justice (DOJ) convened a first-of-its-kind conference on digital currency and the blockchain in San Francisco today.
According to the agency, the goal of the event was to unite the private and public sector in discussions centered on strategies for limiting cybercrime perpetrated with the emerging technologies.
The unpublicized event, organized by the DOJ’s Digital Currency Task Force and held at the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco, saw 175 industry participants engage in panel discussions that sought to emphasize its core theme from the point of view of entrepreneurs, law enforcement officials and regulators.
Though no participants were named in formal release, Twitter images from the event show speakers included Xapo CEO Wences Casares, Coinbase founder Fred Ehrsam and Ripple CEO Chris Larsen, among others.
In remarks, US Attorney Brian J Stretch positioned the event as one that sought to forge a common ground between representatives of the government and the distributed financial technology sector:
“As emerging technologies such as digital currency and blockchains expand into new and legitimate applications, it becomes all the more critical for industry leaders and government agencies to share insights and perspectives in order to combat the illicit use of these technologies.”
Further addressing the need for dialogue was FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery, who noted that despite her department’s early efforts to understand the industry, continued discussions are needed due to the evolving nature of the technology.
“We only opened the door for the hundreds of other questions beyond our anti-money laundering perspective,” Calvery said.
The event was previously hinted at by DOJ Digital Currency Crimes Coordinator Kathryn Haun in an interview with CoinDesk in September in which she spoke at length about the multi-agency task force and its goals.
At the time, Haun sought to stress that the US government was broadly seeking to engage the digital currency and blockchain industry in discussions that would provide clarity on key issues for all ecosystem participants.