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This US Congressman Lost $120,000 by Selling Crypto Too Early

3 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • US Congressman Shri Thanedar would have reaped decent profit of $120,000 if held onto the BTC, LTC, and ETH that he recently sold.
  • According to a new filing, his holdings would have been worth at least $$486,331.85 if had not sold the assets before their surge.
  • Congress can trade stock and cryptos but might face a fine of $1,000 for trades that could conflict with their job responsibility.
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US Congressman Representative Shri Thanedar (D-Mich.) missed out on at least $120,000 by selling Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin (BTC), and Ethereum (ETH) before their recent price surge. Thanedar missed a potential 30% return from his crypto holdings as Congress tightens financial disclosure rules.

A filing on Congress Trading revealed Thanedar sold $150,000 to $250,000 BTC and between $100,00 and $250,000 ETH on Feb. 5, 2024.

Congressman Loses $120,000 Crypto Profit

Since the Congressman sold his crypto, the prices of these three assets have increased. Following the surge in crypto prices in February, the Congressman would have been sitting on at least $330,819 in BTC, $139,156.04 in ETH, and $16,356.23 in Litecoin (LTC). These holdings would have totaled $486,331.85 compared to their $365,000 valuation when he sold.

These calculations assume the Congressman bought the minimum amounts in his disclosure, which is $150,000 for BTC, $100,000 for Ethereum, and $75,000 for Litecoin. BeInCrypto has contacted Rep. Thanedar to comment on his recent sales but has not heard back at press time.

Congressional members are not prevented from investing in stocks and crypto but may not do so if there are any conflicts of interest. They must also make regular disclosures. The US Code of Ethics for public servants prohibits backhanding and engagement in financial interests that could interfere with duty.

Read more: 5 Best Web3 Stocks To Invest in 2022

congressman crypto
US Politicians Who Reported Trades Influenced by Their Committees in 2022 | Source: New York Times

“Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty. Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest,” says the The 14 General Principles of Ethical Conduct.

In other recent crypto purchases, Congressman Michael A. Collins disclosed an ETH purchase of between $15,001 and $50,000 in January. He bought $1,001 to $15,001 ETH in four separate transactions last December.

Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo), believed to be pro-crypto, disclosed a purchase of between $50,001 and $100,000 of Bitcoin on Aug. 16, 2021. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex said in 2021 that she does not buy Bitcoin in order to perform her job responsibly.

Politicians Who Didn’t Report Crypto Holdings

New York Mayor Eric Adams did not disclose the assets in his crypto wallet to the Conflicts of Interest Board in 2021. Adams pledged to receive his first three paychecks in Bitcoin after Miami mayor Francis Suarez said he would do similarly. Adams’ staff said he had misunderstood the question on a disclosure form and pledged he would correct the error.

In 2022, a Business Insider report found that North Carolina Republican Madison Cawthorn failed to properly report an investment in anti-Joe Biden cryptocurrency, “Let’s Go Brandon.” He also was late reporting a purchase of up to $265,000 in Ethereum in two purchases during December 2021. Colorado Republican Lauren Boebert reportedly failed to disclose between $5,000 and $80,000 worth of crypto, stock, and brokerage fund investments that belong to her husband.

Read more: Crypto vs. Stocks: Where To Invest Your Money in 2023

Politicians found trading insider stocks while in office can be fined $1,000. If they don’t divest their holdings within 30 days, they must pay $1,000 and 10% of the stock they traded in violation of the law. 

This is notably far less than the penalty imposed on Isan Wahi, an ex-manager at crypto exchange Coinbase. Wahi shared privileged token listing information with a sibling. Both were punished with prison time for their crimes.

Top crypto projects in the US | April 2024



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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...