U.S. regulator says public officers should report their cryptocurrency holdings

18 June 2018

According to the legal advisory published this Monday by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE), officials working for the executive branch of the US government should report their cryptocurrency holdings as they are considered as investment, rather than holdings of cash in fiat currency.

The OGE noted that the digital currency is treated as a property held for investment purposes or with a view to derive a potential profit, which means that the office will require executive authority officials to file reports about their holdings of cryptocurrencies, saying that they may pose a conflict of interest for the employees owning digital currencies.

In its advisory the office also emphasized that the principles in the document are also applicable to other digital assets, such as tokens and coins usually sold during the Initial Coin Offerings and issued using the blockchain technology.

Meantime, the guidance provided by the OGE may be supplemented by new opinions and conclusions made by other governmental agencies. The office said that in view of the ever evolving nature of the cryptocurrency, more conclusions and opinions may be provided by other regulatory bodies clarifying the question of how digital assets should be treated.

The guidance made by the OGE is not the first move to enforce reporting of cryptocurrency holdings on employees working at federal agencies. Another proposal was made in a petition of the U.S. Congress looking for enforcement of the same requirements on federal lawmakers.

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