Senators in the United States Who Own Bitcoin Raise Conflict of Interest Concerns

Two US senators on the Senate Banking Committee hold Bitcoin and Ether; some feel this predisposes them to advocate for cryptocurrency.

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Two senators on the Senate Banking Committee, according to a Wall Street Journal storey, hold Bitcoin and other crypto-related assets. They feel that this standing entitles them to the essential competence on cryptocurrency that other legislators lack. However, some observers argue that these senators’ ownership of digital assets renders them slightly prejudiced.

Cynthia Lummis, according to WSJ analysis, owns nearly $250,000 worth of Bitcoin. Senator Pat Toomey, on the other hand, has a lower holding in crypto-based items. They are the Senate Banking Committee’s only two members who have invested in crypto and advocate for “a light government touch” on the crypto sector.

According to some analysts, politicians’ personal interests in digital assets may have an effect on the legislation they advocate on the committee. Among them is Lee Reiners, a former New York Federal Reserve official. He claimed that Toomey and Lummis are the “most outspoken” advocates for favourable regulation of the cryptocurrency business.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, believes that members of the United States Congress should refrain from owning or trading particular stocks or digital assets “because to our access to sensitive information and forthcoming policies.” This is what she said on Instagram.

However, the senators in question believe there is no conflict of interest here. In an interview, Toomey stated: Tell me which sector of the economy we avoid. By that reasoning, it seems as if no one in the Senate can invest in anything. That would be absurd.

Legislators in the United States of America are not banned from voting on proposals that might result in their own financial gain. They are, however, compelled to declare their holdings annually and any transfers within 45 days.

Since 2018, these “reportable assets” have included equities, real estate, and cryptocurrency. Apart from senators Lummis and Toomer, the WSJ learned from public sources that nine more House members and five White House officials acknowledged having digital assets.

Sen. Toomey had between $2,000 and $30,000 in Grayscale Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts. Tim Wu, the president’s senior counsellor on technology policy, said that he owns between $1 million and $5 million in Bitcoin. Additionally, he owns between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of Filecoin.

Senator Lummis intends to present legislation in early 2022 that would allow the cryptocurrency sector to establish a new self-regulatory body that would be overseen by the CFTC and SEC.

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