Coinbase adds former Rep. Kendrick Meek as House hosts crypto vote

Former Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) is joining Coinbase's global advisory board, the cryptocurrency trading giant first told The Hill.

Meek's addition to the board comes ahead of the House of Representatives' vote on the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21).

FIT21 would make big changes to the regulation of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, notably expanding the jurisdiction of the Commodity Future Trading Commission to regulate most cryptocurrencies as commodities. Although the bill received bipartisan support in the House Agriculture and Financial Services committees last summer, it will need Democratic support as it heads to the House of Representatives. later this month.

Meek represented Florida's 17th Congressional District from 2003 to 2011 and served on the House Ways and Means Committee, the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus. He also chaired the board of directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Coinbase estimates that approximately 52 million Americans own crypto, with 41 percent identifying as “racially diverse.”

“As we work to address the increasing economic stressors of the traditional financial system, digital assets provide new opportunities to address the systemic problems that have plagued our financial system and left too many Americans behind. And for Black and Latinx Americans and other underserved communities, the need for a more equitable and inclusive financial system has never been more urgent,” Meek said.

The former congressman joins a star-studded council of Washington insiders.

Last November, Coinbase added former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, former Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and other policy heavyweights to its global advisory council, which launched last May. Early members include former Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) and former Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.).

“I look forward to using my seat on the Council to support America's leadership in shaping the future of digital assets and building protections for vulnerable communities,” said Meek.

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