The Biden administration’s communications chief was given strict orders to stay away from the crypto and technology companies he worked with.
President Joe Biden’s communications director, Ben LaBolt, may not interact with his former crypto clients in any official capacity. LaBolt has handled communications duties for Uniswap and Andreessen Horowitz, a digital-focused venture capital firm, in the past.
Encryption off limits
This injunction appears consistent with those imposed on other high-ranking White House staff. President Biden’s staff should avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest when dealing with or with businesses they have previously worked for. Thus, for LaBolt, working with crypto clients, even trusted clients with established relationships, is off limits.
According to a Disclosure of ethics Released on Friday, LaBolt has a number of interests in the technology sector. The White House chief of staff also owns shares in Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. Although, according to the disclosure, they are less than $1,000 each.
Ben LaBolt became Director of Communications in February. He replaced Kate Bedingfield, who has been in the position since President Biden’s inauguration.
His appointment to President Biden’s staff came at a critical time for the crypto industry. The US government, especially the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is under fire for its approach to regulating cryptocurrencies. Time will tell to what extent LaBolt’s experience in the sector has influenced the White House’s approach to digital assets. However, communications staff rarely have an input on policy.
One of the world’s largest exchanges, Coinbase, has publicly discussed moving to the UK due to the US’ recent turn against cryptocurrencies.
LaBolt is an Obama alumnus
LaBolt has worked closely with the Biden administration, advising on communications to Justice Kitangi Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and during the transition. He previously served as press secretary for the Obama re-election campaign and assistant press secretary for the White House. LaBolt also served as Director of Communications for Rahm Emanuel, the former Mayor of Chicago.
He worked with Uniswap and others after leaving the Obama White House. Digital marketing company Bully Pulpit Interactive bought his communications company, Incite Agency, in 2016.
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