Tulsi Gabbard, the Democrat lawmaker, currently serving as the U.S. representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013 recently disclosed her cryptocurrency investments to public, making her the second lawmaker to do so after Virginia Republican Robert Goodlatte.
The disclosure comes not because of public trust building but because of a petition submitted by Colorado House Representative Jared Polis (D), that aimed at the disclosure of virtual currency holdings of fellow congress members. The petition was submitted to the House Ethics Committee this Feburary.
An excerpt from the petition:
Because virtual currencies are a relatively new type of asset, it is critical that the House Ethics Committee provide additional guidance to Members of Congress and staff enabling them to accurately disclose and classify virtual currency holdings. It is clear that the existing disclosure laws and requirements adequately cover virtual currency. The Committee should look to the CFTC, SEC and IRS’ guidance to help inform any future action the Committee may take in requiring the disclosure of virtual currency. Jared Polis, Member of Congress
After procession of the petition, the House Ethics Committee issued a memo requiring lawmakers to reveal digital token holdings of more than $1,000 through financial disclosure reports within a 45-day period, on June 18.
U.S. Congressman Rep. Goodlatte became the first member of congress to report his virtual currency holdings in a financial report which indicated that Mr. Goodlatte then owned between $15,001 and $50,000 worth of BTC, whilst also holding positions in BCH and ETH valued at between $1,001 and $15,000 each.
Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard has now come forward with her own financial report about virtual currency holding this week.
According to her financial report, she purchased between $1,000 and $15,000 of both Ethereum and Litecoin last December:
Ethereum and Litecoin can be seen listed as ‘Assets’. Although a specific figure wasn’t announced, a calculated guess can be made on the worth of these coins by comparing to the cryptocurrency market rates on Dec. 12, 2017 i.e. the day they were bought.
On Dec 12, Etheruem saw an approx. high of $659 and a low of $526 while Litecoin saw a high of $339 and a low of $230. At press time, Ethereum is at $272.97 while Litecoin is at $55.70. Gabbard disclosed that she did not make capital gains greater than $200 on either token while Goodlatte reported no income from any token.
Cryptocurrency has remained an active discussion topic among U.S. lawmakers. Only last year, two U.S. congressional representatives introduced a bill that would reduce bitcoin tax reporting requirements and U.S. bitcoin users would no longer have to report transactions worth less than $600. Cryptocurrency has enjoyed more positive support than negative backlash from the congress and perhaps being included in the good books of Congress is the reason why it has survived so long in the country while other countries are trying to shake it off like a virulent disease. Example is this statement from Jared Polis, a Democrat, serving as the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 2nd congressional district since 2009.
Cryptocurrencies can be used for anything from buying a cup of coffee to paying for a car, to crowdfunding a new startup and more and more consumers are choosing to use this type of payment. To keep up with modern technology, we need to remove outdated restrictions on cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, and other methods of digital payment. By cutting red tape and eliminating onerous reporting requirements, it will allow cryptocurrencies to further benefit consumers and help create good jobs.
As their is still time in the deadline for financial disclosure of the cryptocurrency holdings, members of Congress will soon be turning out their cryptocurrency treasury chests to the public.