Members of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress, must begin disclosing cryptocurrency investments that exceed $1,000.
The guidance was laid out in a June 18 memo drafted by the House Ethics Committee. According to the memo, the committee determined that cryptocurrencies are "other forms of securities for purposes of the EIGA (Ethics in Government Act) and financial disclosure with respect to individuals who are subject to financial disclosure requirements and who file their reports with the Clerk of the House."
It's a notable determination and one that was issued on the same day that the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) – the ethical watchdog of the federal government – said in its own guidance release that public officials must disclose their crypto-holdings. The House memo was first reported by Bloomberg.
Whether this policy will extend to the Senate, the upper chamber of Congress, remains unclear. A representative for the Senate Ethics Committee was unavailable for comment.
Notably, the document also touches on initial coin offerings (ICOs) or token sales. As it stands, the committee said that "it is unclear which ICOs, if any, may be considered to be 'the subject of an initial public offering' for purposes of the IPO prohibition."
As a result of the STOCK Act, members of Congress are prohibited from taking part in any kind of special-access security offerings that aren't extended to the general public.
"Accordingly, any House Member, officer, or employee who is considering participating in an ICO is strongly encouraged to contact the Committee for guidance before doing so," the memo states.
Capitol Hill image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.