Business & Finance

U.S. House Judiciary Chair Becomes First Congressman to Disclose Crypto Ownership

Cryptocurrencies carry the most central argument of displacing monetary currency from it’s hold of world economy in the future, and certain men in power seem not only to be in agreement but involvement as well, as the chair of U.S. judiciary committee of the House of Representatives has become the first member of the Congress to disclose owning cryptocurrency.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), reported to have owned between $17,000 to $80,000 in digital assets. He disclosed these finances in the Financial Disclosure Statement. In a memo issued by the House Ethics Committee on June 18, lawmakers were required to disclose owning any sort of digital currency or tokens of worth above $1,000 publicly. The congressmen were issued a deadline of 45 days, to reveal all kinds of investment and trading in any form of cryptocurrency. The annual financial disclosure statement was to be pitched with the sales and purchase details of involvement in all kinds of digital assets and it has come as some news to the cryptocurrency world, as Goodlatte is an important council member of the Republicans, who’s house in his stewardship, failed to pass an integral immigration bill last June for a second time in two weeks, according to the NYTimes.

An excerpt from Goodlatte’s financial disclosure, stating his involvement in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum | courtesy Sludge

Goodlatte’s annual financial disclosure document went into filing on May 10, earlier this year before a memo went into effect that revealed the congressman’s possessions and transactions of cryptic assets of worth between $17,000 and $80,000. He is reported to have holdings of Bitcoin primarily as well as nominal amounts Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum. Bobby Goodlatte Jr., Rep. Goodlatte’s son, is an investor in American digital assets company Coinbase, and it has been speculated it is this connection that originally got the congressman into crypto.

Bobby himself carries a prominent status in the crypto world, having been a part of Zapchain and has worked as product designer at Facebook while also establishing himself as an angel investor in the San-Francisco-based Coinbase. Although his investments and holdings in digital currency are off public record, but he has been quite bullish about the prospect of Bitcoin. He also refused to answer when asked if he has been involved in cryptocurrency investments and transactions with his father.

I looked towards Bitcoin in a way to design a user friendly bank in a more relaxed environment without many regulations.
– Bobby Goodlatte, 2015

Bob Goodlatte also refused to comment after multiple attempts of contact were made. Nonetheless, it is clear that between 45-day transaction reports and annual financial disclosures next year, there will be other congressmen and prominent figures that turn up to having involvement in digital trading. One such name on many people’s lips is of Republican Jared Polis (D-CO) whose net worth is estimated to be at around $122 million, according to the D.C. Publication Roll Call. Polis is one of the co-founders of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, which also has Goodlatte as a member, along with Republican Greg Gianforte (R-Mont), the second wealthiest member in the congress.

Polis’ co-chair in the caucus, David Schweikert (R-Ariz) has also introduced legislation to encourage the American government to adopt blockchain technology. The caucus also attempts to make an amendment in the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act, incorporating and promoting the use of blockchain application in the military and it’s resource in the form of distributed ledgers which could prove to be a controversial yet revolutionary. The army application of blockchain technology was at show by Google in ‘Project Maven‘ run by the U.S. Defense forces, where usage of AI and machine learning was incorporated in tracking trajectory of missiles rapidly. The company later pulled out of involvement and would end it’s partnership in 2019.

While some lawmakers and council members are still critical of the emphatic rise of crypto and the mainstream attention gathered by it, many congressmen and politicians look to be optimistic about it’s credentials. One such individual is Senator Mark Warner (D-Va), who is not a part of the blockchain caucus but regards digital currency and blockchain technology to be as revolutionary as mobile phones once panned out to be. Warner told the Committee of Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that “we may be on top of something transformational” and that if the increment rate grew as much as we’ve had in the past couple of years, we’d be looking at “a 20-trillion dollar market capitalization by 2020”.

I was an early investor in cell phones back in the ’80s, and I believe blockchain has the potential to be just as transformational as cell phones. As our government begins to look at crypto, I don’t think you can separate cryptocurrencies from the technology they’re based on.

This particular fandom, from senators and congressmen alike, is valid proof that we’re in for further disclosures by prominent figures that will reveal their involvement in crypto trading and investments. This entices to be an exciting future for the U.S. crypto market and the all-round use of blockchain technology and it’s application.

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