Ripple Beefs Up its Regulatory Team as It Enters D.CAuthor: Jimmy AkiLast Updated: 25 October 2019 Craig Philips, a former counselor to the Secretary of the United States Treasury Department, has moved into the crypto space, after cryptocurrency operator Ripple Labs announced that he would be joining its board of directors. A Strategic D.C. entry According to an official announcement published on October 22, Ripple announced his entry into the firm, confirming that he will be joining the board so as to help “provide depth to Ripple’s policy leadership bench.” The entire announcement, as well as the hiring spree, form part of Ripple’s general expansion into Washington D.D., which formed the bulk of the announcement. In the announcement, Ripple revealed that it had expanded to the U.S. capital, thus becoming the first major blockchain and crypto firm to set up shop in D.C.The new Washington office will be headed by Michelle Bond, who currently serves as Ripple’s Global Head of Government Relations. The company is also working to create a regulatory team in the capital, and apart from Bond, the D.C. team will also include Ron Hammond, a former legal assistant to crypto-friendly Congressman Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) and Sue Friedman, who also previously worked for the Treasury Department. Ripple will also be officially joining the Blockchain Association, a lobbying group that has been advocating for the legalization of cryptocurrencies and helping in the development of several crypto and blockchain firms as well. Its membership in the Association is set to bring the company in contact with several D.C. insiders, and provide leverage in future expansion efforts. New members’ impressive portfolios By adding Philips, Hammond, and Friedman to this team, Ripple definitely will have a wealth of leadership and knowledge in both the crypto, compliance, and finance spaces at its disposal. As a Treasury Department counselor, Philips helped develop Executive Order 13772, titled “Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System.” The Order, which was signed by President Donald Trump on February 3, 2017, was designed to control the effects of regulations on the financial sector. He also previously served as Managing Director at asset management firm BlackRock, where his leadership of the firm’s Financial Markets Advisory group saw him generate over $1.5 billion in revenue. As for Friedman, she previously worked as a Senior Advisor to CTFC Chairman Heath Tarbert, while the latter served as the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for International Markets. She is set to oversee international policy counsel at Ripple. Hammond, who has picked up quite a lot of experience in Capitol Hill (and Washington in general), will be head of Ripple’s government relations efforts. The Ripple ecosystem evolution Earlier this month, Ripple made headlines when it fused three of its products- xRapid, xVia, and xCurrent- into its RippleNet offering. According to an October 9 report from industry news outlet CryptoNews, customers will now be able to connect to RippleNet, whether through the cloud or on-premises, as opposed to purchasing any of its constituent services separately. Per the news medium, the company believes that offering a network to its users is the best option, as it allows for it to accommodate its expanding user base even better.