US Ethics Office: Cypto Assets Must be Revealed by Government Officials

Ethics officials, on Monday, said that those working for the executive branch of the US government must reveal their cryptocurrency holdings.

The US Office of Government Ethics (OGE), through a legal advisory, stated that cryptocurrency is “property held…for investment or the production of income” rather than a “real” currency or legal tender. Consequently, the OGE will now at this point need executive branch employees to reveal holdings of cryptocurrencies because they “might generate a conflict of interest with clients who own it.”

The disclosure prerequisite is a huge move, requesting members of the US executive branch to report their crypto holdings. At the start of this year, a member of the US Congress put forward a request seeking similar requirements for Congress members.

The OGE’s document also makes particular mention of initial coin offerings, or the sale just before the introduction of a particular network.

“Further, the revealing and conflict of interest principles established herein apply similarly to other digital assets, such as ‘coins’ or ‘tokens’ obtained in relationship with initial coin offerings or given or distributed using distributed ledger or blockchain technology,” the OGE wrote.

The OGE pointed out that it moved to craft assistance because government officials have been ” continuously looking for guidance from their ethics officials regarding their financial disclosure reporting commitments.”

Remarkably, the OGE indicated that Monday’s release might not be the conclusion on the subject. In the foreseeable future, officials wrote, activities by other government agencies could put the assistance in question and demand additional study.

“Due to the growing nature of virtual currency, other regulatory agencies might issue extra findings or assistance that offer further understanding into how these assets should be treated for the purposes of the EIGA,” the OGE said.


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