U.S. officials who are invested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now disqualified from working on Bitcoin or cryptocurrency policies and regulations in order to avoid affecting the value of the assets they hold.
A new legal advisory notice was issued by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Tuesday and declared that the de minimis exemption, when applied to a security, would allow the owner of an amount below a certain threshold to work on policies related to that security. This exemption will not be applied to any amount of any Bitcoin or cryptocurrency owned, even if the cryptocurrency in question constitutes as a security.
With that being said, the de minimis exemption applies to mutual funds that are exposed to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency sector. Therefore, federal employees who have invested less than $50,000 in a mutual fund with exposure to the Bitcoin or crypto sector will still be granted the ability to work on related policies.
This notice applies to every White House staff member and employees of all federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department. This will have a significant impact on White House staff who have been open about their Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investments. For example, Tim Wu, who is a technology adviser to the Biden administration, has stated that he has millions of dollars in Bitcoin but has already voluntarily barred himself from working on policies related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
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