Sen. Pat Toomey Invested in Bitcoin, Ethereum After Advocating for Less Crypto Regulation – Barron’s


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Sen. Pat Toomey leaves the Senate chamber during a recess in the Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Pat Toomey, who recently pushed for less-burdensome cryptocurrency regulations, has disclosed investments in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The Pennsylvania Republican, the ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, invested a total of as much as $30,000 in Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ticker: ETHE) and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). According to a disclosure Toomey filed Wednesday with the Senate Office of Public Records, he invested between $1,001 and $15,000 in each of the trusts on June 14.

On June 10, the senator wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to raise concerns regarding recent proposals to regulate cryptocurrency transactions. Toomey noted that the proposals “would have a detrimental impact on financial technology, the fundamental privacy of Americans, and efforts to combat illicit activity.” He urged “significant revisions to them.”


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Toomey’s office didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. It wasn’t immediately clear if Toomey made the investments himself, or if they were made by a third-party advisor.

Toomey’s cryptocurrency investments are his first on record; his annual financial report for 2019, the latest available, shows no crypto holdings.

The senator has met with cryptocurrency lobbyists as recently as 2019. Also that year, Toomey spoke against cracking down on Facebook’s (FB) cryptocurrency plans.

Grayscale notes on its site that the Ethereum trust has rocketed 860% in the latest 12 months, while the Bitcoin trust has surged 260% in that time. The single-asset products are designed to track the market prices of Ethereum and Bitcoin, respectively.

Toomey said last year that he doesn’t plan to run for re-election in 2022, setting up a scramble in Pennsylvania for his seat.

Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.

Write to Ed Lin at edward.lin@barrons.com and follow @BarronsEdLin.