- At least five lawmakers invested in brokerage firms involved in crypto or other digital assets in 2020 and 2021.
- At least 21 congressional staffers have also invested in the market.
- Crypto experts predicted that the number of federal lawmakers investing in crypto would grow.
Lawmakers are torn about how to regulate cryptocurrency. But that hasn’t stopped some members of Congress and their senior staffers from investing in it.
At least one senator and four US House representatives have bought stock in cryptocurrency-related companies or invested with brokerage firms that work with this emerging market, according to an Insider analysis of federal records detailing the lawmakers’ personal finances for 2020.
Meanwhile, Congress has been introducing legislative proposals aimed at better regulating crypto.
Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Republican of Wyoming who sits on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, is an outlier among her colleagues. In her January 2021 report, she reported owning between $50,001 and $100,000 in Bitcoin. She’s among a handful of members of Congress who accept cryptocurrency campaign contributions.
But Lummis was several days late reporting a purchase in August of up to $100,000 in Bitcoin. Lummis’s spokeswoman Abegail Cave told Insider that the Wyoming senator “has gone above and beyond to comply with federal law and Senate Ethics requirements regarding financial disclosures.”
Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a Republican of New Jersey, reported up to $250,000 in “an investment trust” operated by Grayscale, the world’s largest digital-currency asset-management firm. The office of Van Dew did not respond to Insiders comment on what kind of investment trust he has with the firm.
Democratic Rep. Jake Auchincloss, a 33-year-old freshman of Massachusetts, reported up to $15,000 in Flipside Crypto Investor Holdings.
Rep. Barry Moore, a Republican of Alabama, reported investing up to $15,000 with a brokerage firm in Coffee, Alabama. The description of the firm on his financial disclosure said “crypto currency.” His office did not respond to Insider’s request for comment on which brokerage firm he was using. His disclosure said the firm paid $2,501 to $5,000 in dividends in 2020.
Jim Newman, the husband of Rep. Marie Newman, a Democrat of Illinois, has traded stock in the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase at least 16 times. The most recent trade, a sale valued at $50,001 to $100,000, occurred in November.
Also in November, Newman’s husband purchased up to $50,000 worth of stock in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.
Congressional ethics officials say that the “most comprehensive approach” for lawmakers to “eliminate conflicts of interests and the appearance of them” is to form what’s known as a qualified blind trust, a financial vehicle the House or Senate ethics committee approves that a trustee manages independently.
Most members of Congress have not established qualified blind trusts, which are …….