Crypto Investments should be Declared by Congressmen: U.S Ethics Committee
Crypto investments, the most modern investment method attracts fresh attention inUnited States. The Office of GovernmentEthics (OGE) Committeehas released a memo mandating the WhiteHouse members to publicly reveal their crypto investments.
The memo is issued in the wake of increasing crypto investments which has prompted uncertainties over policies regarding a legislator’s purchase of cryptocurrencies. Regulations for cryptocurrency started in 2013 when the U.S Treasury’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network (Fin Cen)advised virtual currency to follow rules like Banking secrecy Act. The memo issued on June 18 includes guidance on ethical issues based on the understanding of cryptocurrencies.Congress members are advised to treat these crypto investments as other forms of securities.They are also asked to report any income above $1000 from digital token holdings on their financial disclosure statements.
Income from crypto investments are treated as outside earned income and has a set limit. The outside earned income limit for 2018 is $28050. According to the memo any earnings from crypto investments should be considered for the outside earned income limit and should be disclosed in the financial statements.The STOCK ACT mentioned in the memo also indicates that congresspersons are not allowed to participate in any special accesssecurity offering other than what is made available for the general public.
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The OGE sees cryptocurrency as property held for investment or for the production of income. The OGE said that other regulatory agencies will also issue guidelines regarding the treatment of these assets reported Bloomberg.This is because cryptocurrencies can be treated as commodities, property, securities etc. according to each company’s preferences.The memo also mentions the details to be filed in the financial statement. Assets held for investment, unearned income that exceeds $200 and income from a single source which exceeds $200 are to be mentioned in the financial disclosure.
As crypto investments are rapidly growing in the global investment market, the U.S being one of the main investors in digital market, has started to establish rules for crypto currency ownership and crypto investments. The policy has currently been mandated forownership of crypto investments by public officials and is unclear whether it applies to the Senate members as well.