A new bill introduced in the Texas House could set the state up to be the nucleus of Bitcoin development in the United States.
A bill that would fully protect and “welcome the Bitcoin economy.” has been introduced to the Texas State House of Representatives.
Sponsored by Rep. Cody Harris (R), and co-authored by the Bitcoin Policy Institutes' Natalie Smolenski and Jason Brett, House Concurrent Resolution 89 describes how the Chinese government’s banning of bitcoin mining and trading in 2021 is an “authoritarian form of rule” that is “in complete opposition to the values of the United States.” This ban led to the quick migration of hash rate from China into the United States, mainly Texas, which has been reaping the benefits of the explosion in activity.
As such, the bill describes that “The Lone Star State has certain principles regarding items of value that are embedded in the Texas Constitution, and these principles should be applied to all citizens with respect to the use and storage of Bitcoin.”
The principles “express support for protecting individuals who code or develop on the Bitcoin network,” which is a key component of protecting Bitcoin within a state. In addition, the state will ensure “that individuals who mine Bitcoin in Texas will never be inhibited by any law or resolution that restricts the practice of securing the Bitcoin network for the safety of the virtual currency, which is held and transferred peer-to-peer.”
According to the bill, individuals who own Bitcoin are protected under Section 9, Article I, of the Texas Constitution, which states that "The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from all unreasonable seizures or searches.” This right, the bill says, should also extend to digital possessions, such as cryptocurrencies. “No citizen of Texas shall ever be deprived of their right to own Bitcoin and that all Bitcoin owners will be protected as they enjoy all the privileges associated with the cryptocurrency, including the immunity afforded by censorship-resistant spending of Bitcoin and the ability to store Bitcoin in an unhosted wallet without undue interference from any state agency; these protections shall be extended to Bitcoin owners.”
Those in the United States and the broader global network who work on Bitcoin coding, programming, and mining, shall know by this resolution that the Bitcoin economy is welcome in Texas, and that the Texas Legislature shall always seek to protect the rights of its citizens under the law and foster the growth and development of local businesses; in addition, all those in the broader community who choose to own Bitcoin as a manner of storing their wealth and transacting peer-to-peer with other law-abiding Texas citizens shall always feel free and safe in their ownership and use of Bitcoin in the state of Texas.
The bill concludes with a welcome to “those in the United States and the broader global network who work on Bitcoin coding, programming, and mining,” describing that their individual rights to possess and use Bitcoin, as well as the rights of their Bitcoin enterprises, are not only encouraged in Texas, but protected. According to the legislative process detailed by the state, the bill will first go through the House — if approved, the Senate will see it next, and after that, the Governor’s office.