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Senator Lummis Talked About Owing Bitcoin In An Interview

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Senator Cynthia Lummis is the most outspoken supporter of Bitcoin in the United States government. And the junior senator from Wyoming is working on legislation that would affect Bitcoin and other crypto assets, which are currently unregulated in the United States.

In an interview on Meet the Press Reports, she said, “Well, I own cows too, and cows are commodities. Bitcoin is a commodity,” 

“Should I have to sell my cows because they’re a commodity and now I’m on the Banking Committee that may have a relationship to the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission], or there may be laws in Congress that affect the marketing or ownership of cattle?” she continued.

The answer, according to the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics, is that Senators are not required to “disclose any purchase, sell, or exchange of any stock, bond, commodities future, or other security when the transaction exceeds $1,000” under 2021 criteria. To be clear, commodities and commodity futures are not the same things—the former is the actual thing, whereas the latter are financial commitments to purchase that thing at a later period for a predetermined price.

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In the case of cryptocurrencies, members must report the coin or token they own, as well as the exchange or platform that holds it. Lummis claimed possessing between $50,000 and $100,000 of BTC as an incoming senator in 2020; in August 2021, she reported an additional purchase of BTC worth $50,000 to $100,000. She has not claimed any profit from the sale of the assets.

Her cows, though, are not the same. According to records, she had between $1 million and $5 million in cattle as of January 2021 and recorded a $110,000 income from them.

“I bought my first three Bitcoins for $330 each,” she said. “So I had $1,000 worth of skin in the game. It’s now a $1.8 trillion market. There are 17,000 to 18,000 cryptocurrencies. So this is a very big marketplace. And I am a speck of sand.” she added.

However, Lummis, who is drafting the Responsible Financial Innovation Act with the support of New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand to provide tax guidance on capital gains from Bitcoin mining, staking, and other crypto activities, implied in the interview that even if she sold everything today, it wouldn’t matter.