U.S. lawmakers who buy and sell digital currencies
Image Source: Pehal News

U.S. lawmakers who buy and sell digital currencies

Last year, Republican Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee and Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming was the top congressional cryptocurrency dealers. Although cryptocurrency trading is not as popular in Congress as stock trading, a few members of Congress have become active traders of digital currencies such as bitcoin and dogecoin.

U.S. lawmakers who buy and sell digital currencies
Image Source: Pehal News

Members of Congress have become active traders of digital currencies

According to an analysis by 2iQ Research’s Capitol Trades, which values the politicians’ purchases and sales by using the midpoint of a transaction’s declared range in financial disclosures, seven lawmakers have disclosed transactions involving cryptocurrency assets made by themselves or family members in 2021.

Cryptocurrency traders in the House and Senate, on the other hand, believe in them. Last year, they tended to be bullish, with no confirmed cryptocurrency sales and more buys than sells. That’s because the most well-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.40%, increased by 60% in 2021.

They were also mostly Republicans, with only one Democrat among the seven members who disclosed cryptocurrency transactions. And their transactions take place as the crypto industry comes under greater scrutiny in Washington, D.C.

GOP Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee and GOP Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming topped the list of the biggest crypto dealers on Capitol Hill by dollar volume last year.

Green had the most amount transacted among politicians ($128,00) with an estimated $72,000 in cryptocurrency buys and $56,000 in sales, while Lummis was the biggest buyer on Capitol Hill with an estimated $75,000 in purchases and no sales.

Last year, Green disclosed 16 crypto trades, including Ethereum Classic USD, 0.24 percent, Dogecoin DOGEUSD, -1.33 percent, Chainlink LINKUSD, -2.31 percent, and Celo buys and sells. His office did not respond to a request for comment on his crypto trading, but his spokeswoman previously pointed MarketWatch to in an interview in which he stated his investments are handled by a manager who does not receive orders from him.

Lummis, a passionate proponent of virtual currencies who first mentioned purchasing into crypto in 2013, only disclosed one transaction: a bitcoin purchase. A spokesman for Senator Lummis told MarketWatch that the senator invests in bitcoin as part of a well-diversified asset portfolio. “She regards bitcoin as a commodity, similar to cattle or oil, and has invested in it accordingly.” All investments were made in accordance with the Senate Ethics Committee’s recommendations and following consultation with the Senate Ethics Committee.”

All members of Congress must file disclosures within 45 days for the purchase, sale, or exchange of any stock, bond, commodities future, or other security if the transaction exceeds $1,000, according to the STOCK ACT of 2012.

Due to potential conflict of interest issues that could arise and erode the public’s faith in Washington, some US lawmakers have attempted to prohibit members of Congress from trading individual stocks and other securities. The Securities and Exchange Commission, for example, is looking into methods to regulate cryptocurrencies, and Congress has been considering multiple pieces of legislation that might affect the crypto trade.

In a statement to MarketWatch, Florida Republican Rep. Mike Waltz said that investing in cryptocurrency made sense to him “from both an investment and public policy perspective.”

“It’s a hedge against inflation; authoritarian governments like China and Russia despise it; it democratizes currency for the underserved who can’t access cash through regular channels, and it fosters supply chain transparency,” Waltz explained.

“The general public has a right to know about our financial dealings, and transparency is essential for accountability.” In addition, I’ve followed all of the Stock Act’s requirements, and I’m a strong supporter of legislation that would codify measures to limit stock trading by officeholders.”

“These trades are performed completely by her husband and are publicly disclosed on a regular basis in accordance with House protocol.” Furthermore, she completely supports recently proposed legislation that would restrict, if not outright prohibit, stock trading by members of Congress, their family members, and senior congressional staff.”

Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas’ office did not respond to a request for comment on his crypto disclosure, but his spokesperson told MarketWatch that his wife “had assets she alone owns and a third party manager made the purchase without her guidance” when asked about other trading activity.

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