From now on, US government officials who privately own cryptocurrencies will no longer be allowed to participate in regulations and strategies that could affect the value of digital assets.
In a recent advisory note from the US Ethics Office on Tuesday, it is stated that the so-called de Minimis exception generally does not apply to cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. This exception allows owners of securities holding an amount below a certain threshold to work on political issues related to this security.
“As a result, an employee holding any amount of a cryptocurrency or stablecoin is not allowed to participate in a particular matter if he knows that this particular matter could have a direct and predictable impact on the value of his cryptocurrency or stablecoin.”
In the message, an example scenario was shown in which an employee who owns only $ 100 of a particular stablecoin is asked to work on stablecoin regulation. The employee in question may not participate in the regulation “until he has sold his shares in this stablecoin”.
The notice states that this provision also applies if the cryptocurrency or stablecoin in question would ever “constitute a security within the meaning of federal or state securities laws”.
The new rule applies to all employees of the US federal government, including employees of the White House, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.
The term “de minimis” comes from a longer Latin expression meaning: “the law does not care about trifles”.
Related: Self-Regulatory Organizations Grow in Parallel with the New US Crypto Regulation
The only exception to this rule is when policymakers hold up to $ 50,000 in investment funds that, among other things, also invest in companies that would benefit from crypto and blockchain technology. The rationale for this exception is that these investments are “considered as diversified funds”.
Despite the strict rules for such investments in the crypto sector, the United States continues to make progress in integrating the crypto industry. US President Joe Biden announced an approach on the part of the government to regulate the digital asset sector.
According to Raymond Shu, co-founder and CEO of Cabital, with the latest legislative proposals, the US could become one of the few Western countries to fully regulate stablecoins and other digital assets and accept them as official components of the financial system.