As Capitol Hill comes to terms with the notion of a new financial landscape, the U.S. Chair of the Judiciary Committee has become the nation’s first congress member to disclose holding cryptocurrencies.
At the time, Goodlatte was under no legal obligation to do so. Filed on May 10, 2018, the congressman’s disclosure came one month before the U.S. Ethics Committee mandated all congress members to disclose cryptocurrency holdings.
The committee’s memorandum, released June 18, requires all house members and their spouses to disclose cryptocurrency holdings over $1,000 under “Assets and Unearned Income” in their annual financial report. Further, members have a maximum of 45 days to register cryptocurrency transactions over $1,000 as the exchange of “other forms of securities”.
When it comes to cryptocurrency, Goodlatte appears partial to the classics. As of May 2018, the congressman held up to $50,000 worth of Bitcoin, and up to $15,000 of Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum respectively—all top-5 coins by market capitalization.
Where retail traders may consider such investments substantial, they are dwarfed by the congressman’s multi-million dollar holdings of more conventional assets—namely equities, bank funds, and numerous IRA and 401k accounts.
While the lawmaker has not explained his reasoning behind the cryptocurrency investments, a compelling explanation might be that his son, a known Bitcoin bull, counseled him on the matter. As an angel investor into Coinbase, Bobby Goodlatte Jr. has not hidden his pro-crypto stance from the public eye:
1/ Many underestimated Bitcoin & Ethereum because they judged them using the same criteria they would a startup
— Bobby Goodlatte (@rsg) May 8, 2017
To any advocate of cryptocurrency, the admission of Congressman Goodlatte may be bullish on several levels. The weight carried by a U.S. lawmaker may give the asset class a hearty push towards acceptance, with a number of members of Congress likely to follow suit in purchasing, and publicly divulging, cryptocurrency investments.
Furthermore, if the congressman’s investment portfolio is anything to go by, a Bitcoin ETF will see the asset gain exposure to an unforeseeable quantity of capital—stemming from generous 401k and IRA accounts such as Goodlatte’s.
Cover Photo by Brandon Mowinkel on Unsplash