Category Archives: Jared Polis

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Top Drawer Bitcoin Advocates with Washington Day Jobs

Top Drawer Bitcoin Advocates with Washington Day Jobs

As one writer recently observed, Washington has its fair share of undercover Bitcoin enthusiasts other than Blockchain Association member and Republican Congressman Tom Emmer, and once one peels back the political veneer to get a sense of what US politicians actually think about cryptocurrency, some surprising views emerge.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis is perhaps one of the loudest voices advocating cryptocurrency along with Emmer. The entrepreneur turned politician has a distinctive modern-technology background; being an early adopter of the internet he founded American Information Systems, a dial-up internet service provider in the mid-1990s. Additionally, he has founded several cyber-businesses and was reported to have received USD 2,500 in Bitcoin campaign donations in 2014.

Ex-vice president Al Gore is another pro-crypto big gun in Washington, although he keeps it pretty quiet, although his allegiance is clear with comments such as, “I think the fact that within the Bitcoin universe an algorithm replaces the functions of [the government]… is actually pretty cool”.

New Mexico’s Former Governor Gary Johnson showed his true colors when he accepted Bitcoin donations during the 2016 US Elections, despite Clinton and Trump turning away from digital currency, which might have boosted their appeal to millennial voters; an opportunity missed perhaps, or just lack of foresight in not understanding who actually uses Bitcoin.

Former Republican presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul has done an about turn, from once shunning Bitcoin to pointing out that the hallmark digital currency could even prevent another US recession, pointing out:

“The system we have today is not viable, it’s out of control, the amount of debt that’s building up we might end up with the dollar but not the system… That is the system, and we are flat out broke, we’ve been broke for some time. There will be liquidation, when the debt gets this big, the debt has to disappear.”

Paul suggests that the government keep its nose out cryptocurrency and “turn it loose”.

 

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Goodlatte First Member of US Congress to Disclose Crypto Holdings

US Congressman Bob Goodlatte has declared his private Cryptocurrency holdings, becoming the first member of Congress to do so.

Goodlatte, who currently serves as the chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, has reported that he currently holds a number of cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ethereum (ETH).

Clearly, holding cryptocurrencies in itself is not at all unusual but perhaps a rarer disclosure when made by influential politicians, given the current state of regulation in the US surrounding cryptocurrencies.

The disclosure was filed in on 10 May that congressman Goodlatte owns between USD 15,001 and USD 50,000 worth of BTC, while also holding positions in BCH and ETH valued at between USD 1,001 and USD 15,000 each.

The reason for the disclosure is a result of a Congressional Blockchain Caucus legal advisory that request that all employees of the United States executive branch reveal any crypto holdings within 45 days. The advisory was not simply limited to crypto but all holdings.

Crypto clearly runs through the congressman’s family as his son Bobby Goodlatte Jr has Coinbase investments. Also, Congressman Goodlatte is a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus itself. The founder of the group is Jared Polis who requested guidance early this year on crypto disclosure. Analysts are expecting him to be the next politician to disclose crypto assets.

Polis argued in February that, because crypto assets are regarded as commodities by some agencies, Congress should treat them as traditional assets for disclosure purposes. He argued:

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

Polis is notably pro-crypto, once suggesting that the US dollar be banned and replaced with Bitcoin, and is also one of the first US politicians to accept Bitcoin campaign donations.

 

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