Law Decoded, July 4–11: Access denied for crypto-owning policymakers

It’s been a century or so since the property qualification came out of vogue, but it doesn’t seem a problem if you want to apply it to crypto and policymaking. An advisory notice released by the United States Office of Government Ethics last week states 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 the note specifies, even holding a mere $100 of a certain stablecoin should prevent a civil servant from participating in drafting regulation “until and unless they divest their interests in [that] stablecoin.” Stablecoins are not an exception – the same goes for any kind of cryptocurrency.

The only exemption will be made for policymakers who hold up to $50,000 in mutual funds that invest broadly in companies that would benefit from crypto and blockchain technology. The reasoning for this exemption is that they “are considered diversified funds.”

Intercontinental joint action on Terra

South Korea and the U.S. have reportedly agreed to share their latest investigation data around Terra, the $40 billion ecosystem crash which is under investigation in both countries. While the joint action between Terra’s original jurisdiction and the country with the largest crypto market comes as no surprise, the cooperation between the two nations would be the first of its kind, though likely not the last.

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No USDT for salaries in China

Apparently, some Chinese firms have been using the Tether (USDT) stablecoin for salaries amid the hardline crypto ban by the country’s government. Beijing’s Chaoyang District People’s Court even had to deliver a judgment that stablecoins like USDT cannot be used for salary payments. The ruling came as part of a court case involving a staff member at a local blockchain firm suing his employer for not agreeing to pay his wages in yuan. 

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An exodus of pro-crypto financial regulators in the UK

Last week saw another major tumult in British politics with a number of high-ranking officials resigning in a sign of protest against Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who, for his part, has confirmed his resignation, albeit with a scheduled postponement. While in recent years, it has become almost a tradition for Conservative Party PMs to resign, the scandal could affect crypto regulation climate in the country – the former Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen and the former Chancellor of the Exchequer for the U.K. Rishi Sunak were rather amicable to crypto. But all hope is not lost, as Sunak voiced his intention to pursue the Prime Minister position. 

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