The United States Office of Government Ethics (OGE) released an advisory policy on July 5, 2022 stating that any government employee who holds cryptocurrency, stablecoins, or any other digital asset will be ineligible to work on any regulatory matter that may affect the price of their personal assets. The OGE releases such legal advisories from time to time to make federal officers and employees aware of what they can and cannot do.
As a result of this advisory, government employees who also hold any amount, even a very minor amount, of a cryptocurrency will be unable to participate in any regulatory or policy matters. Specifically, this applies if the employee “knows that particular matter could have a direct and predictable effect on the value of their cryptocurrency or stablecoins.” While there are de minimis thresholds for publicly traded securities, the OGE concluded that no such de minimis exceptions are available for cryptocurrency holdings.
This advisory policy will have the negative consequence of eliminating a significant number of regulators that have shown willingness to embrace the technology on a personal level by investing in cryptocurrencies. Unless government employees divest themselves of their personal digital currency investments, they will be disqualified from regulating on any matter involving these assets.