Crypto owners banned by the U.S. ethics watchdog from working on crypto policies

In the United States, crypto owners have been left out of the process of drafting cryptocurrency rules. The U.S. Office of Government Ethics now advises that employees who are crypto owners should not participate in Federal crypto regulation work. The Ethics Watchdog claims that their ownership might impact how these regulations are created.

Crypto owners are banned from working on crypto regulatory policies

United States government officials who have personal investments in cryptocurrencies are not allowed to work on policies and regulations related to cryptocurrencies. This is because their investments could affect the decisions they make. Some government officials with crypto holdings have been accused of being biased when creating laws that affect crypto. They are said to be doing this in order to protect themselves and other crypto owners.

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The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (O.G.E.) released a warning notification on Tuesday, including the de minimis exemption for cryptocurrency owners. The exemption allows holders of securities with a value below a certain threshold to work on policy issues pertaining to that security. While that might be true for traditional currencies, it’s not necessarily applicable to cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (O.G.E.) is issuing this Legal Advisory to address the application of the regulatory exemptions for de minimis holdings of publicly traded securities and mutual funds, found at 5 C.F.R. part 2640, subpart B, to cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and companies involved in blockchain technology and related services.

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics

Even if the cryptos in question are securities under the federal or state securities laws,” they are not considered by most courts to be so. The word “de minimis” comes from a longer Latin phrase that means: “the law does not concern itself with small matters.”

This directive applies to all crypto owners who work in the White House. The directive also covers the employees of all federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.

The ban will considerably influence White House employees who have been public about their bitcoin holdings, such as Tim Wu, a technology adviser to the Biden administration and owner of millions of dollars in bitcoin. Wu voluntarily distanced himself from involvement in crypto policy after the crypto owners’ ethics alert.

The notice illustrates a situation in which an employee who owns just $100 worth of a stablecoin is instructed to work on stablecoin regulation. O.G.E. informed the employee that until and unless they divest their stakes in this stablecoin, they cannot participate in work regarding [regulation]. 

The warning noted that the decision is still valid even if the cryptocurrency or stablecoin in question will ever be considered a security for purposes of federal or state securities laws.

As a result, an employee who holds any amount of a cryptocurrency or stablecoin may not participate in a particular matter if the employee knows that particular matter could have a direct and predictable effect on the value of their cryptocurrency or stablecoins.

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics

Crypto owners suffer the worst fate amid the crypto winter

However, there are a few crypto owners who stand out as exceptions. Federal employees with investments of $50,000 in a mutual fund that has crypto sector exposure will continue to be allowed to work on crypto-related policies. These crypto owners qualify for this exemption because they have assets that are considered diversified funds.

Despite the ostensibly stringent regulations on employee crypto investment, the U.S. continues to advance with integration in the cryptocurrency sector. U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed a “whole-of-government” regulatory response for the digital asset industry, as reported in the first quarter of 2022.

This exemption allows crypto owners to invest in cryptocurrencies through equities and mutual funds from firms that provide crypto and blockchain services. This includes all types of cryptos as well as stablecoins. This does not imply that government employees can’t own cryptocurrencies; they can. However, this entails forgoing the chance to work on cryptocurrency-related laws.

Not all is sunshine and roses in the world of cryptocurrency. In recent months, crypto owners have experienced their most brutal losses. The crypto market isn’t in its best form right now. The overall market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has been attempting to recover to $1 trillion for some time, but suspended bearishness is impacting crypto companies.

According to CoinMarketCap, the live Bitcoin price today is 20,425.75 USD. The 24-hour trading volume for Bitcoin is $21,846,244,762. Bitcoin has increased by 1.10% in the last 24 hours. At the time of this press release, Ethereum’s price stands at $1,180.55 per unit with a 24-hour trading volume of 13,442,618,822 dollars. Ethereum went up 3.61% on the last day. The global crypto market is worth $920.09B, which is a 1.38% increase over the last 24 hours.

Nasdaq has offered one piece of advice to crypto owners on how to weather the season during the coldest crypto winter ever recorded. While no one knows how long or how severe this cryptocurrency winter will be, some things can assist crypto investors in navigating it.

Nasdaq warns that altcoins will continue to fall further. The company cites Bitcoin as a haven of stability. In order for a crypto winter to be truly over, Bitcoin must be in better form. The dominance of Bitcoin is one way to measure its health.

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