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US Chair of House Judiciary Committee discloses ownership of digital currencies

The chair of the House of Representative’s Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, has officially disclosed his ownership of various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In June this year, the US House of Representatives issued a memorandum detailing that House Members must disclose all cryptocurrency holdings valued at over $1,000 USD. Now, the chair of the House’s Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, might be the first member of Congress to declare his ownership of various digital currencies.

In a new report issued in his annual Financial Disclosure Statement, Goodlatte has indicated his ownership of digital currencies with a total Dollar amount bearing between $17,000 and $80,000 USD.

Goodlatte’s statement reveals that the Judiciary chair owns Bitcoin as well as prominent altcoins such as Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum. Accordingly, Goodlatte’s son – Bobby Goodlatte Jr – is reportedly an angel investor in US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Goodlatte’s cryptocurrency holdings might extend further than his present disclosure, as members of the House are only required to disclose all cryptocurrency holdings valued at over $1,000 USD or any cryptocurrency transactions valued at over $1,000 USD over the course of the past 45 days.

Additionally, lawmakers are required to further disclose their participation in Initial Coin Offerings as well as any income earned through cryptocurrency mining. House members can list their digital currency holdings under their ‘Assets and Unearned income’, while purchases, sales, and exchanges involving cryptocurrency are listed under ‘transactions’.

Interestingly, while the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has determined that some cryptocurrencies are commodities, the House Ethics Committee treats all cryptocurrencies as “‘other forms of securities.”

House rules presently prohibit lawmakers from earning in excess of $28,050 USD during a year from any source not related to Congressional work. Subsequently, payments in cryptocurrency and profits derived from cryptocurrency mining are subject to these limits.

Goodlatte might soon be joined by other members of Congress in disclosing their cryptocurrency holdings – Congressman Jared Polis, a co-founder of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus – is additionally believed to own several cryptocurrency assets.