In recent years, the world of cryptocurrencies has caught the attention of many individuals, including members of the U.S. Congress. While the media often focuses on specific cases, it's important to take a step back and examine the broader picture. Within the time span of 2020-22, a total of 9 members of Congress reported trading crypto assets on their financial disclosures.
One prominent figure who faced criticism back then was Representative Madison Cawthorn. He was called out for disclosing nearly $950,000 worth of cryptocurrency trades, including Bitcoin (BTC:US), Ethereum (ETH:US), and Solana (SOL:US), late. However, it's essential to note that he was not alone in filing late reports or trading crypto.
According to the STOCK Act of 2012, members of Congress, their staff, and employees of the Executive Branch are required to disclose stocks, bonds, commodities, and other equity trades within 45 days of the original transaction. Cryptocurrencies were added to the list of required disclosures by the House Committee on Ethics back in 2018.
Keeping the Senate side in focus, Senator Ted Cruz has been an avid supporter of the crypto industry. He reported purchases of Bitcoin on the River Financial exchange in January 2021, and Senator Pat Toomey notably invested in Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE:US) and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC:US).
Moving on to the House of Representatives, Representative Michael McCaul of Texas invested in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust at a time when it was trading at a premium compared to the actual value of Bitcoin. Another representative, Madison Cawthorn, engaged in a variety of cryptocurrency trades, including Kryll (KRL:US), Ethereum, Solana, Bitcoin, Request (REQ:US), and Let's Go Brandon (LGB:US).
These are just a few examples of lawmakers involved in cryptocurrency trading. It's worth mentioning that members of Congress were also actively trading crypto-related stocks back then. Congresswoman Marie Newman, a Democrat from Illinois, traded Coinbase (COIN:US) and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust shares.
The increasing interest in cryptocurrencies among lawmakers has spurred discussions about regulations. In 2022, Senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gilibrand introduced a bill to reduce the SEC's oversight of most cryptocurrencies. President Joe Biden also signed an executive order in March aimed at responsible development in the digital assets space.