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Friday, July 8, 2022

Green Sheet interviews Scott Talbott about ETA's Washington fly-in

As the Electronic Transactions Association prepares for its ninth annual Washington, D.C. fly-in, to be held Wed., July 13, 2022, on Capitol Hill, Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government relations at the ETA, shared details about the event, including this year's chosen topic, cryptoassets, with The Green Sheet. Following are excerpts from the interview.

What inspired the Washington Fly-In event and how has it evolved since its inception?

ETA is the advocate for the payments industry in D.C., the states and Canada. We hold fly-ins in all three areas. ETA has been hosting its annual D.C. fly-in since 2013. For the last two years, it was virtual. The purpose of the fly-ins is to bring ETA member company executives to D.C. to speak with legislators and regulators about issues facing the payments industry. Given how dynamic the payments industry is, the topic for the fly-in is different each year. For this year's fly-in, we will be talking about how the payments industry views cryptoassets.

What were some positive outcomes from previous meetings? 

Policymakers gain deeper insights into how the modern payments industry serves the economy. Previous ETA fly-ins have resulted in advancement of issues facing the payments industry like cannabis, privacy, data breach, Operation Choke Point, tax issues and trade agreements.

Do you have a corporate sponsor for this year's event, and what were the motivations for sponsoring?

The following ETA members are sponsors of all of ETA's 2022 GR Events, including the fly-in as well as our upcoming annual Fintech Policy Forum: Arnall Golden Gregory, FIS, King & Spalding, Mastercard, Metabank and Venable. These companies are leaders in the payments industry.

What opportunities and benefits do fly-ins provide to participating ETA CPPs?

ETA fly-ins, whether in D.C., state capitals or Ottawa, offer all ETA members the opportunity to share their payments expertise with policymakers. Participating ETA CPPs are eligible to earn hours of continuing education.

What are some important considerations for regulating the distribution and use of cryptoassets?

The important aspects of using cryptoassets for the payments industry are price stability, consumer protections, and a positive policy environment that encourages, rather than stifles, innovation. Policymakers should consider these principles when crafting policies for cryptoassets. To expand on this, ETA has published 5 Guiding Principles for Crypto Policy. A copy of the document is available at www.electran.org/publication/transactiontrends/5-guiding-principles-for-crypto/

What near-term opportunities and threats in the current regulatory environment would impact payments industry stakeholders in the cryptoassets space?

The opportunity presented by cryptoassets is to incorporate the speed and transparency of blockchain technology to make the current payments system faster, even more inclusive and more secure. It could also help reduce fees.

The threat comes from uncertainty around the still evolving regulatory environment for cryptoassets and from future policies that may over-regulate and thus stifle innovation in cryptoassets or any other emerging payments product and service.

How can payments industry stakeholders advance responsible use of cryptoassets?

By working with federal, state and Canadian policymakers, like during ETA's annual fly-in, to share their expertise and ETA's Guiding Principle for Crypto Policy on how the payments industry is incorporating cryptoassets into our already robust, secure, fast payments industry. Additionally, by applying to cryptoassets the existing, proven policies already applicable to payments, it will help ensure responsible use of cryptoassets. ETA members can also expand current consumer literacy programs to include cryptoassets.

How can the payments industry play a broader role in deploying and managing cryptoassets?

ETA and its members are experts in payments as well as cryptoassets. By combining these areas of expertise and sharing with policymakers, we can ensure that the payments industry combines the innovation offered by cryptoassets while continuing to offer fast, secure and safe ways for consumers to send, hold, receive and spend their money. end of article

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