Texas Introduces New Bill To Protect Bitcoin Economy and Bitcoin Miners
On March 21, Republican Rep. Cody Harris introduced a new bill in the Texas House of Representatives to boost the state’s Bitcoin economy and protect the rights of miners and owners of the cryptocurrency.
Texas Bill To Protect Rights Of Bitcoin Miners And Holders
The House Concurrent Resolution 89, co-authored by Natalie Smolenski and Jason Brett of the Bitcoin Policy Institute, explains how the Lone Star state was among the jurisdictions that largely benefitted from the “great mining migration” of 2021 when China banned both mining and trading of all cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. The bill describes the Chinese government’s decision as an “authoritarian form of rule that is in complete opposition to the values of the United States”.
Recently, many states in the U.S. like New York, and countries in the European Union, where Bitcoin mining has been prevalent since miners moved out of China, have considered limiting or permanently banning crypto mining activities. Rep. Harris notes that Texas, which is responsible for 25 per cent of all Bitcoin hash rates in the U.S., has certain principles in its constitution that protect items of value and that these principles need to be applied to all citizens of the state that use and store Bitcoin.
The lawmaker is asking the state to protect individuals that “code or develop” on the Bitcoin network under Section 8, Article 1 of the Texas constitution, which states that “every person shall be at liberty to speak, write, or publish” their opinions on any subject.
Under the bill, Texan Bitcoin miners shall never be inhibited by any law or resolution that may restrict their practice of securing the Bitcoin network and facilitating its peer-to-peer storage and transfer mechanism. Miners will also be allowed to seek out any form of energy to help secure the Bitcoin network in the state.
The legislation also seeks to expand provisions of Section 9, Article 1 of the Texas constitution, which protects the citizens from all unreasonable seizures or searches of “their persons, houses, papers, and possessions,” to include digital assets like cryptocurrencies.
The bill implies that no citizen of the state must be dispossessed of their right to own Bitcoin. HODLers will be protected and allowed to enjoy all the privileges that come with the cryptocurrency, like the ability to store Bitcoin in decentralized wallets without interference from any government agency and the immunity offered by its censorship-resistant spending methods. The protection will be provided under Section 19, Article 1 of the constitution, which states that no citizen of Texas “shall be deprived of life, liberty, property, privileges or immunities” or disfranchised in any manner except under the “law of the land”.
The bill also mentions the security of the Bitcoin network, stating that peer-to-peer transactions on the blockchain are confirmed by miners who use specialized computers and complex algorithms to solve mathematical problems. The first miner to solve the problem wins the block and receives newly minted Bitcoins as a block reward.
The resolution concludes by welcoming the global Bitcoin network, including those who work on Bitcoin coding, programming, and mining, to do their business in Texas to help grow and develop the local economy. It also promises to protect the rights of people who own Bitcoin and use the cryptocurrency to conduct peer-to-peer transactions within the state.
The draft bill will first go through a voting process in the House, and once approved, will be sent to the state Senate, after which it will go to the desk of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who will sign the legislation.
Texas’s Charge To Lead The Decentralized Revolution
In 2021, Governor Abbott, who calls himself the “crypto law proposal supporter,” signed two bills into law, one of which established a blockchain working group in the state while the other amended the state’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) to recognize cryptocurrencies under commercial law. The state joined Wyoming, Rhode Island, and Nebraska in including cryptocurrencies as financial instruments under their respective commercial code.
Texas is home to some of the largest Bitcoin mining corporations in the world, such as Riot Platforms, Core Scientific, White Rock Management, Blockcap, and others. The state is also considering joining Florida to prohibit any central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by federal or foreign governments from being used commercially by its residents.
On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis introduced legislation banning the digital dollar or any other form of CBDC from protecting the people from the “weaponization of the financial sector” by the U.S. government.
Since last month, Bitcoin has been steadily increasing in value, a move fueled by the banking crisis that has taken over the global financial sector. Investors are now depositing funds into the world’s most valuable and trusted cryptocurrency to safeguard their wealth. At the time of writing, BTC is trading at $28,330 – up 1.3% in the last 24 hours.