United States lawmakers are stepping up their efforts to regulate the decentralized currency, bitcoin, and a host of other cryptocurrencies.
House Representative Jared Polis, who has gained a reputation as being “bitcoin-friendly,” forwarded a request that called for the House Committee on Ethics (HCE) to issue guidance on how politicians can divulge their digital asset holdings.
Polis remarked that digital assets are defined as securities or commodities in other U.S. territories. U.S. politicians are already being compelled to disclose traditional assets. Polis says it is “critical” that the HCE give this type of guidance to government employees.
“Members of Congress and covered employees are already required to report certain asset holdings over certain amounts, including reporting any commodities holding over $1,000,” Polis said in his petition to the HCE.
“A Member or covered employee should report any virtual currency holding as they would report any other commodity, such as gold,” said Polis in his petition.
Polis accepted bitcoin donations back in 2014, and the House representative has made it clear in the past that he would “protect bitcoin in U.S. congress.”
Polis says that it is defined that current statutes that need asset disclosure can easily apply to virtual currencies. The representative from Colorado also says that the ethics committee should review the guidelines already drafted by government agencies such as the IRS, SEC, and CFTC.
In addition to assets such as gold, the U.S. Stock Act mandates politicians to disclose real-time purchases and sales of stocks acquired. Anything over $1,000 be it be a stock or a commodity must be declared to the public, and Polis says cryptocurrencies are no different. Polis writes in his HCE petition:
“Financial disclosures are critical to maintaining public trust in elected officials and the integrity of congress — I look forward to working with the committee on this issue.”
The House representative added that the rise in the use of cryptocurrency as an alternate to conventional payments and investments obliges Congress to take the needed actions.
The House representative also believes that virtual currency disclosure guidelines would greatly help “maintain transparency and deter potential conflicts of interest.”
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