US government officials who privately own cryptocurrencies are now banned from working on regulations and policies that could affect the value of digital assets. A new advisory notice released by the US Office of Government Ethics (OGE) on Tuesday stated that the de minimis exemption — which allows for the owners of securities who hold an amount below a certain threshold to work on policy related to that security — is universally inapplicable when it comes to cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. “As a result, an employee who holds any amount of a cryptocurrency or stablecoin may not participate in a particular matter if the employee knows that particular matter could have a direct and predictable effect on the value of their cryptocurrency or stablecoins.” The notice provided an example scenario whereby an employee who owns a mere $100 of a certain stablecoin, is asked to work on stablecoin regulation — the employee in question cannot participate in work concerning regulation “until and unless they divest their interests in [that] stablecoin.” The notice specified that this ruling still applies even if the cryptocurrency or stablecoin in question were to ever “constitute [a security] for purposes of the federal or state securities laws.”
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