Congressmen and congresswomen in the United States will now have to officially declare their cryptocurrency investments. In a memo released on Monday, the House Ethics Committee advised all US Congress members that they must disclose any cryptocurrency investment worth more than $1,000.
The memo explained that the lawmaker must report the cryptocurrency purchase or sale within 45 days of the transaction.
All lawmakers on Capitol Hill are already required to make annual financial disclosures. In 2012, they were required to disclose their holdings in stocks, bonds and derivatives alongside their personal assets, real estate and other investments which they normally declare.
Cryptocurrencies have been added to the list following the growing popularity and rate of investments. Cryptocurrencies have a total market capitalization of over $270 billion.
With this attention has come scrutiny and regulations from government agencies. The latest of these regulatory pronouncements came from the SEC which declared that bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest coins, will not be treated as securities. The regulatory status of cryptocurrency is by no means resolved, and it is expected that bills in this regard will be debated by Congress.
When this happens, people want to be certain that lawmakers are not influenced by their cryptocurrency holdings. This memo may well address that concern.
The memo also provided guidelines on crypto-related earnings for lawmakers. It stated that revenue from cryptocurrency mining would be part of each lawmaker’s side-employment earnings which is capped at $28,050.
US Congress followed the lead of their Australian counterparts. Members of Parliament in Australia were told to include their earnings from digitals assets to the list of properties, gifts, and trusts which they normally disclose. In a recent interview, a member of the Australian parliament Nick Damatto revealed that he had profited from an investment he made in bitcoin last year.