Cryptocurrencies, namely bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ethereum, are becoming accepted in the halls of power of Washington D.C., which is confirmed by several events. Firstly, the head of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte declared that he owned cryptocurrency. According to his report published on May 10, 2018, he had up to $80,000 in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.
Goodlatte’s son, Bobby Goodlatte Jr., like his father, sees enough potential in digital currencies. He invests in cryptocurrency wallet provider and exchange Coinbase, but it is not known when or how much he invested.
1/ Many underestimated Bitcoin & Ethereum because they judged them using the same criteria they would a startup
— Bobby Goodlatte (@rsg) May 8, 2017
— Bobby Goodlatte (@rsg) August 7, 2018
Secondly, after this disclosure, in late June of this year, the House Ethics Committee issued a memo to all members, officers, and employees of the House of Representatives, advising to reveal publicly their cryptocurrency ownership in annual reports the same way they disclose other assets. The memo states:
“The Committee on Ethics is the supervising ethics office for Members, officers, and employees of the House as well as certain other employees of the legislative branch who are required to file financial disclosure reports under the EIGA (the Ethics in Government Act). As the supervising ethics office for House filers, the Committee may issue advisory opinions interpreting the EIGA within its jurisdiction. The EIGA requires all financial disclosure filers to file an FD Statement at least once a year to disclose, among other things: assets (real and personal property) held for investment or the production of income valued at more than $1,000 at the close of the reporting period; unearned income that exceeds $200 during the reporting period for themselves, spouses, or dependent child; and earned income from a single source that exceeds $200 in the aggregate in the reporting period.”
The Committee has also decided to “consider cryptocurrencies other forms of securities for purposes of the EIGA 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.”
Another Senator Mark Warner supported cryptocurrencies in a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in early 2018:
I think we may be on top of something that is transformational. If we have the same rate of increase the next two years that we’ve had the last couple of years, we’d be at north of $20 trillion [market capitalization] caught up in this area by 2020.”
In 2016, it was reported that cryptocurrency played its role in Russia’s meddling of theU.S Presidential Elections. As a result, a member of the House of Representatives Emmanuel Cleaver called on the government to probe the cryptocurrency industry.
Many critics have for a long time seen cryptocurrencies as a tool for fraudulent activities, but now their mind can change, as governments in many countries embark upon serious consideration of digital currencies and their regulation.