The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) said federal employees of the executive branch owning cryptocurrencies or mutual funds investing in the sector need to recuse themselves from any matter related to the industry.

See related article: CFTC Commissioner Pham suggests regulators stay tech-neutral on stablecoins

Fast facts

  • The July 5 memo clarified that the agency does not consider crypto assets as publicly traded securities, which would be otherwise exempt from OGE regulation.
  • Employees can own publicly listed stocks of companies engaged in the development of cryptocurrency or stablecoins or related services.
  • However, they need to recuse themselves if they own mutual funds directly involved with crypto and related sectors over the US$50,000 exemption limit.
  • Mutual funds with a stated purpose of investing broadly in companies that would benefit from or use blockchain technology are considered diversified funds by the OGE and are exempt. 
  • Employees can own mutual funds that invest in the stocks of computer hardware makers that cater to the crypto industry, the OGE memo said.

See related article: US crypto bill leaves ‘open question’ on securities: Tessler