Congress Called Out on Crypto Hypocrisy by Fellow Rep

Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., a successful technology entrepreneur and blockchain enthusiast, has called out fellow Congressional reps for hypocrisy in labeling Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a commodity.

Polis is the representative of the liberal and tech-friendly 2nd District in Boulder and has a long career in technology. He co-founded American Information Systems, an Internet access provider, while still in college and sold it in 1998 for $10 million.

In 1996, he co-founded, an online greeting card company that he sold in 1999 for $430 million in stock and $350 million in cash. He also founded and sold ProFlowers for $477 million. He is one of the few billionaires in the House of Representatives.

Polis and Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz. launched the Congressional Blockchain Caucus in February 2017 to educate, engage, and provide research to help policymakers address issues raised by blockchain-based technologies and payment methods.

The day before the SEC was to testify before Congress on cryptocurrency regulation, Polis sent a petition the House Committee on Ethics arguing that because cryptocurrency assets are regarded as commodities by several agencies, Congress members should follow the same financial disclosure requirement as for traditional assets.

The timing was aimed at stealing some of the thunder of a possible crackdown. It may have worked, judging on the positive note of the hearing the next day.

The petition states:

“Members of Congress and covered employees are already required to report certain asset holdings over certain amounts, including reporting any commodities holding over $1,000, a Member or covered employee should report any virtual currency holding as they would report any other commodity, such as gold.”

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission both regard cryptocurrencies as commodities. The IRS has ruled that cryptocurrencies are taxed every single time they are exchanged, thus are a commodity rather than a currency.

Rules of ethics

The petition points out the hypocrisy of not requiring Congress to follow its own rules of ethics:

“Members of Congress and covered employees are already required to report certain asset holdings over certain amounts, including reporting any commodities holdings over $1,000. A Member or covered employee should report any virtual currency holding as they would report any other commodity, such as gold […] if a Member or covered employee engages in a transaction involving a virtual currency that exceeds $1,000, including the purchase of a virtual currency as part of an ICO or a commodities future, they must provide an updated financial disclosure.”

The letter marks Polis’ latest effort to push through the normalization of cryptocurrency as part of his long-term advocacy for not only cryptocurrency but also blockchain technology.

In 2014, he satirically suggested the U.S. dollar be banned and replaced by Bitcoin.

He was also one of the first US politicians to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for his political campaigns. In September, 2017, he proposed a bill to exempt crypto holdings of less than $600 from capital gains taxes.

Recommended Articles

Biggest and Smallest National Gaps Between Rich and Poor (and Where America Ranks)

In the United States, the richest 1% controlled more than 40% of the wealth in 2016. The last time wealth inequality gaps were this wide was during the Great Depression.

3 Best Travel Websites That Save You Money

There’s a lot of travel sites out there and they all seem very similar. If you are planning for spring break in 2022, next year’s summer vacation or just getting

35 Healthy, Natural Foods You Should Be Eating

Did you know that the healthiest foods in the world are actually highly affordable, simple foods that can be found in any supermarket? The most healthy foods you should be

5 Ways to Boost Return in Your Investments While Actually Cutting Risk

Are you looking for ways to earn higher returns without risking it all? When it comes to investing your money today, there are plenty of options that promise attractive returns.

4 Effective, Easy Retirement Withdrawal Strategies

Many many years ago when my dad retired I remember him receiving a gold watch for his years of service and a nice pension for his hard work. Today, many

4 Strategies for Getting a Healthy Midday Nap

What is the best way to reduce feelings of frustration and stress? Yoga, meditation, listening to quiet music? While all of these can have a positive effect on stress levels,

Billionaires Commissioning Gold, Bejeweled Credit Cards Worth $50K

That may be because there are now more rich people in the United States than ever before. What changing is what they are willing to spend money on — such

When is the right time to retire? 62, 65, 70?

You may be trying to figure out what the most beneficial age is to say goodbye to your colleagues at work. Is it 62, 65, or even 70? Age 65

The Future of Medicine: 3D Printing

The technology of 3D printing is a technique that creates 3D objects from digital designs right before your eyes. Typically, 3D printers work with plastic or other malleable materials to

5 Special Risks Women Should Consider When Planning for Retirement

Even though the country is moving toward erasing the gender boundaries, there are some things where women and men have to acknowledge they are different. Retirement planning is one of

Depression Maybe a Side Effect of Diet, Lifestyle: Study

A study has recently been released that indicates that depression may be more closely related to an illness or allergic reaction than a mental condition. Numerous scientists have spent the

7 Steps to Enter Retire Early and Rich

The United States is home to over 20 million millionaires, about 80% of whom are self-made millionaires who worked and invested their way into the seven-figure club. Wouldn’t it be