The House Ethics Committee has informed all US Congress members that they must disclose any investment worth more than $1,000 as of June, 18. All lawmakers on Capitol Hill make an annual financial disclosure but a new memo has informed them that any cryptocurrency purchase or sale that exceeds $1,000 must be reported within 45 days.Congress Must Disclose Digital Holdings
Cryptocurrency, and it’s most well known token Bitcoin, came to be as a means to disrupt the global banking system. Many of those who initially embraced it were distrustful of the government and saw using the fiat alternative as a way to keep control of their own finances without federal interference. As its popularity rose and then exploded in late 2017 people from all walks of life were pulled into the investment craze.
This new memo from the Ethics Committee means that the public will know if their member of Congress is trading in digital assets, even as regulatory rulings over their status are still being debated. Some see the decision as a way to protect against future conflicts of interest, as when voting occurs on any bill that may affect the way cryptocurrency is officially seen by federal regulatory bodies.
Representatives elected to Congress, and their staff have been required to disclose personal assets for decades, including real estate and investments. In 2012 that was tightened further to include a full disclosure of any holdings in stocks, bonds or derivatives by members of Congress or their family members. Now as investments in digital assets such as Bitcoin become more popular questions of how they should be reported have arisen since, in many cases, they remain unregulated and undefined by the federal government.
The recent memo from the House Ethics committee also included guidelines on crypto related side jobs. Members of Congress are limited to earning $28,050 from employment apart from their work in the house. The memo has informed them that this cap includes crypto mining.