The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has issued an advisory notice that effectively bars all White House staff and all employees of federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve (FED), with exposure to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, from drafting crypto-related policies and commenting on any other regulation that might affect the value of their digital assets.
In a notice on July 5, the OGE said it was giving an advisory to address the application of the “regulatory exemptions for de minimis holdings of publicly traded securities and mutual funds,” which it said doesn’t apply to cryptocurrencies, including stablecoins.
Typically, a “de minimis” exemption, when applied to securities such as bonds or equities, permits policymakers in the U.S. with a given amount of assets below the required minimum threshold to create policy or regulation that may affect that asset.
The OGE Directive
OGE says this exemption won’t apply to cryptocurrencies even if the digital asset is a security “for federal or state laws”. According to the OGE, cryptocurrencies and stablecoins are not publicly-traded securities.
The same rule will also bar federal employees with an investment of less than $50k in mutual funds with exposure to cryptocurrencies and their derivatives. All government employees, regardless of the amount of cryptocurrencies in their possession, can’t comment or participate in the drafting of laws or policies that may directly have a predictable effect on their assets’ value.
This rule will directly apply to all government employees, especially those in the FED and U.S. Treasury, cutting off their thoughts on leading crypto assets and how applicable rules may affect the project’s or asset’s evolution.
However, the OGE will permit policymakers to invest in public blockchain and crypto companies like those regulated and engaged in cryptocurrency mining. By virtue of their registration with the U.S. SEC or any other regulatory body, their shares are on exchanges, adhering to all laid down rules, and therefore classified as securities.
- Crypto News BlockMagnates: Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash