Head of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has declared that he owns up to $80,000 in cryptocurrency. Goodlatte’s portfolio, according to his annual financial disclosure, showed that he owned Bitcoin primarily. Alternative digital currencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash were also present in nominal amounts.
The House Ethics Committee in late June 2018, passed new rules requiring members of the House to disclose their cryptocurrency ownership in annual reports the same way they disclose other assets. Goodlatte’s declaration, however, was filed with the Clerk’s Office for the House on May 10. This was a month before the House of Ethics Committee memo took effect.
Rep. Goodlatte isn’t the only member of his family involved in cryptocurrency. His son, Bobby Goodlatte Jr., is an angel investor in the San Francisco-based platform, Coinbase. Although it is not certain when Goodlatte Jr. started investing in the company, he has been publicly bullish on Bitcoin and has also been involved in price speculation on the virtual asset.
Rep. Goodlatte and his son have not given a formal statement on the matter. They have also not responded to questions about their investment or involvement in digital assets.
Cryptocurrency in Washington
On July 18, the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing to discuss digital assets and cryptocurrencies. The committee is responsible for commodities which focus mainly on agriculture and mining products. The big debate is if commodities should include virtual assets like cryptocurrencies or if cryptocurrencies fit better into some other asset class.
Meanwhile, Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver has called on the government to probe the cryptocurrency industry. This comes after reports revealed that the cryptocurrency had a role to play in Russia’s meddling of the 2016 U.S Presidential Elections. Many critics have for a long time seen cryptocurrencies as a tool for fraudulent activities.
Finally, Coinbase is set to increase its lobbying efforts in Washington by creating a Political Action Committee (PAC). Last month, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange announced the formation of a PAC advocacy group to engage policymakers in the U.S.
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