Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has become the first person in Congress to publicly disclose his cryptocurrency holdings, according to Sludge.
On June 18 of this year, the House Ethics Committee issued a memo to all members, officers, and employees of the House of Representatives, advising that they were now required to publicly disclose any cryptocurrency holdings worth more than $1000.
According to the memo, such investments must be disclosed in their annual financial disclosure reports. In addition, sales or purchases of cryptocurrencies exceeding $1000 have to be reported within 45 days of the transaction.
According to Rep. Goodlatte’s financial disclosure, which was filed on May 10 – well ahead of the House Ethics Committee’s memo went into effect – he current holds:
- $15,001 – $50,000 in Bitcoin
- $1001 – $15,000 in Bitcoin Cash
- $1001 – $15,000 in Ethereum
Interest in cryptocurrency must run in the family, because Goodlatte’s son, Bobby Goodlatte Jr., is an angel investor in the San Francisco-based Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange. While it is not known when or how much he invested, what is known is that – like his father – the younger Goodlatte sees enough potential on crypto to put his money where his mouth is.
1/ Many underestimated Bitcoin & Ethereum because they judged them using the same criteria they would a startup
— Bobby Goodlatte (@rsg) May 8, 2017
Could There Be More Crypto on Capitol Hill?
Given that there are other proponents of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency on the Hill, it is probable that – between the mandatory 45-day transaction reports and the annual financial disclosures – we will start hearing that other members of Congress have invested in cryptocurrencies as well.
Who are the most likely candidates for crypto disclosure?
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.)
Not only is Polis one of the wealthiest Democrats in Congress, but he is also one of the co-founders of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. Both he and his c0-chair, David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), worked to introduce legislation that would encourage the government’s adoption of blockchain technology. Polis is also the first federal official to accept campaign contributions in Bitcoin during the 2014 elections.
In fact, during an interview at “Bitcoin Demo Day” back in July 2014, Polis was clear in his support of cryptocurrencies:
It’s a good thing we haven’t seen Washington standing in the way of digital currencies, and we need to raise the awareness level here so that we don’t pass any well-intended laws that impede the tremendous benefits that [the currencies can bring].
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)
While not a member of the Blockchain Caucus, Warner is nonetheless a vocal proponent of blockchain technology and its’ potential applications. Speaking at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee earlier this year, Warner stated:
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.
Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.)
A fellow Blockchain Caucus member, Gianforte is probably one of the most technologically savvy people in Congress – and also one of the wealthiest, with a reported net worth of roughly $136 million.
Gianforte made his fortune in software development and data analytics. He founded the software development company Brightwork Development in 1986 and later sold it to McAfee Associates – yes, that McAfee – for $10 million. He then went on to launch the cloud-based customer service software company RightNow Technologies, which he turned around and sold to Oracle for $1.5 billion.
Do you think we will see more government officials start to disclose cryptocurrency holdings? Who will be next? Keep the conversation going in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Clerk.House.gov, Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore