As the US government scrutinizes the cryptocurrency market, it has come to light that a senator and four US House representatives have invested in digital assets. The Insider’s report reveals how some lawmakers own stocks in companies they oversee. The report sheds light on the fact that many in the US government are themselves divided as to invest or not in cryptocurrency.
The revelation comes through the analysis of federal records detailing the lawmakers’ personal finances for 2020. Senior staffers as per federal law, have to file timely reports about their stock transactions and outside earnings, if any, that is if they make more than $132,552 annually. This is applicable to staffers and aides, including legislative directors and chief counsels.
The US Congress for most of 2021 has been working on introducing legislation to regulate cryptocurrency in the country. Those having had invested in digital assets include Democratic Rep. Jake Auchincloss; Rep. Jeff Van Drew; Sen. Cynthia Lummis; Rep. Barry Moore; and Jim Newman – the husband of Rep. Marie Newman.
Moreover, Insider identified 21 high-ranking congressional staffers who bought or sold cryptocurrencies in 2020 and 2021. The cryptocurrencies included bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin. Reports say more lawmakers, who have not been named yet, may also be investing in cryptocurrency. Its also unknown whether office employees at Capitol Hill, with lower salaries, have invested in cryptocurrencies or crypto-related stocks.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she abstains from crypto and individual stock investments as she wants to avoid conflicts of interest. She says this is part of her efforts to maintain impartiality as a legislator.
Ethics officials believe lawmakers must do away with conflicts of interest. They said the lawmakers should form a qualified blind trust – a financial vehicle the House or Senate ethics committee approves that a trustee manages independently.