Evidenced by the member of Congress and the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte’s crypto holdings have been a subject of interest for the house.
Cryptocurrencies, are becoming accepted in the Washington D.C. halls of power as a store of value and assets, so much so that they need to be declared like any other asset. The currencies known to be owned by the members of the parliament and the white house include so far include Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash and Ethereum,
The chair of the Judiciary committee Goodlatte himself owns between $17,000 and $80,000 in cryptocurrency, according to his annual financial disclosure.
The filing was made in May, ahead of new rules from the House Ethics Committee requiring members of the House to disclose their ownership of cryptocurrency in annual reports, the same way they would disclose any other asset. These new reforms and the addition of accountability of cryptocurrency in the unwritten constitution is based on precedent that money, metals and other precious items present within the law.
The new rules also require lawmakers to report cryptocurrency transactions within 45 days. This will help maintain a clear picture of their accounts as time passes. This is also a requirement for other financial transactions such as cash at bank and cash in hand.
This news has had a positive impact on the awareness and acceptance of cryptocurrencies. Goodlatte’s interest may be influenced though. According to Forbes:
Goodlatte’s son, Bobby Goodlatte, is reportedly an investor in cryptocurrency wallet provider and exchange Coinbase, though the details of Bobby Goodlatte’s investment are not public.
Goodlatte himself is also a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, co-founded by another member of Congress Jared Polis.
Polis is among one of the richest Democrats, with an estimated net worth of $122 million. This can help enthusiasts draw a link between creative money makers, power and cryptocurrency. People may also derive the impression out of this news that another senior politician is investing in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a sign that crypto regulation in the U.S. could move in bitcoin’s favor. It also represents a liberated image of bitcoin, as a currency that does not discriminate in age, experience or generation. This means great marketing brownie points for bitcoin.
However, some regulators and lawmakers have necessitated a need for tightening regulations on digital currencies, calling them unreliable and eccentric. And yet, there are several members of Congress who are proponents of the industry.
U.S. is the second largest market of bitcoin by country in terms of volume, roughly 26%.
Despite the voluminous market, it is currently inconsistent in its definitions of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Their relevance and need is highly debated but more complex than just some Proposition and Opposition committee in the congress.
The need to declare crypto assets helps push the debates to the proposing sides. The U.S. securities and exchange commission (SEC) on the other hand, disagrees. It has called for a clarification on the subject time and again. The SEC has indicated it views digital currency as a security, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission says bitcoin is a commodity.
The SEC said that cryptocurrencies need not be catered by a change in their definition of securities. The SEC then went on to saying that Ethereum and Bitcoin aren’t securities.
The IRS, meanwhile, says cryptocurrency is not actually a currency and defined it in 2014 as property and issued guidance on how it should be taxed. The activity on the Capitol Hill will now move the flag forward. ‘Coming forward now actually could be the difference between criminal penalties and simply paying interest’, having said this, whether this will mean easing business and personal use of crypto or heavy regulations is still a major question mark in the crypto world.