Global payments giant Discover Financial Services has joined the Chamber of Digital Commerce to assist the group’s mission of blockchain education and advocacy.
Joining the Chamber’s executive committee as a full member, the firm, which operates the Discover Card, will “join the Chamber’s efforts to educate, promote and accelerate the adoption of blockchain technologies worldwide,” the organization announced Tuesday.
Discover’s payment rails operate in more than 185 different countries, making it one of the “largest card issuers in the United States,” according to a press release.
Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber, said her organization was “thrilled” to welcome the new member, adding that it “is really a sign of the maturation of the blockchain industry, in that one of the largest companies is getting involved and I think it’s a positive sign.”
Discover and the Chamber have previously worked together on a code-a-thon, she told CoinDesk, adding that the payments firm “started increasing their interest and their operations in the blockchain space, so it was kind of an organic relationship that formed.”
As a fully-fledged member of the group’s executive committee, Discover will work “with industry and government” in promoting the space, which is at present something of a legal gray area.
“The biggest policy issue that the blockchain technology ecosystem is facing today is regulatory uncertainty,” Boring explained.
“With the plethora of regulators from the [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] to the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] to [the Office of Foreign Assets Control], all of these regulatory bodies are taking their approach to the industry and there’s no central point of contact. No one knows who has jurisdiction over what.”
To compound the issue, state-level legislatures and regulators are developing their own rules, which is creating a patchwork system across the U.S., she said. Continuing to advocate for clarity in the regulatory space should help bring a more uniform approach, Boring said.
Discover’s membership of the Chamber will help “strengthen our community,” Boring said. “It’s really telling that you have a regulated financial institution getting involved in such a public way.”
Discover card image via Shutterstock
This article has been amended for clarity.