US Federal Employees Ordered to Report Their Digital Assets Following New Guidance

US Federal Employees Ordered to Report Their Digital Assets Following New Guidance

June 25, 2018 Off By Steven Anderson

The Office of Government Ethics of United States recently commanded federal workers to report their holdings of digital currency. This is according to the latest policy issued by the government yesterday June 18. The new guidance will affect about millions of federal executive branch workers. This includes the Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, Justice, Army, and many other departments.

The US Office of Government Ethics doesn’t consider digital assets a real money or legal tender. The conflict principles in the policy will apply the same way to virtual currencies like tokens and coins, which were received in ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings or issued or dealt out using blockchain system.

It states that workers report their holdings in a digital currency when the price of the digital assets holding goes beyond USD1, 000 at the end of the reporting time. Workers also need to report if the profits produced by the digital asset exceeded USD200 during the reporting time. Workers obliged to know the name of the digital asset and, the platform or exchange on which the virtual currency is held.

The making of the policy was necessary because cryptocurrencies are experiencing a surge in use and access. Thus, workers who hold digital assets are looking at regulation from their economic disclosure reporting duties. Public filers are obliged to report agreements of specific investment assets. This includes diverse types of securities; even if according to the notice the requirements will depend on whether a specific virtual currency is recognize a security. The agency suggests ethics officials to advise the workers to report virtual currency transactions that go beyond the reporting threshold.

What is more, the policy states that virtual asset is a huge investment and it may form conflict of interest for workers who have it. It is also not subject to any conflict of interest exemptions. The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) might need to release further guidance as the nature of crypto becomes better defined.

Months ago, the government of South Korea banned officials from trading and holding virtual currencies. South Korea is the first country in the world that formulated a digital currency, but public officials aren’t required to own it. Ministry of Personnel Management reported that the officials who involved in trading crypto are in infringement of the ban of forbearance obligation under the civil servant’s law and are subject to disciplinary actions.



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