cryptocurrency, bitcoin, ethereum, crypto
Colorado House Representative Jared Polis has petitioned the Congressional House Committee on Ethics to require that members of Congress should disclose any ownership of cryptocurrencies. Awesome.
Members of Congress are required to make certain disclosures about income and investments.
Under 5 U.S.C. 101(c), 102(a) and (b), all members of Congress must disclose, among other facts, information related to:
Also, under the Stop Trading and Congressional Knowledge (“STOCK”) Act, members of Congress must disclose purchases of stocks, bonds, commodities or other securities that exceed $1,000. And since the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has labeled crypto a commodity, disclosure of crypto ownership should be required under the STOCK Act.
Actions control words. Or, as Nassim Taleb so eloquently put it: “If your private life conflicts with your intellectual opinion, it cancels your intellectual ideas, not your private life.”
Since candidates and representatives like Representative Polis have been accepting crypto donations, we know at least some members of Congress are familiar with crypto. And that speaks volumes for crypto's credibility in the public eye. Members of Congress can slam Bitcoin all they want, but if we find out they own any, those arguments lose any and all force.
The disclosure of crypto ownership disclosure would boost the reality that crypto is a new asset class that’s here to stay. Now that Congress has been called out by one of its own, if members don’t disclose or disclaim ownership, they’ll lose face.
I would love to see Congress members asked point-blank in hearings if they own crypto, wouldn’t you?
This Time Is Not Different: A Brief History of Private Money & Crypto
Money Transmitter Laws & Crypto
The Fifth Factor: Are Cryptocurrencies Securities?