Texas takes steps to amend Bitcoin to state constitution

Everything in Texas is bigger, which is why the Lone Star State is taking action to become America’s next Bitcoin (Bitcoin) Hot spot.

Recently, the state of Texas implemented two laws to ensure that cryptocurrencies are recognized by state commercial laws. Texas House of Representatives Bills 4474 and 1576 Both are effective September 1, After being signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in June this year. Although HB 1576 established a blockchain working group in Texas, HB 4474 provides a complete framework to prove that virtual currencies have a place under Texas law.

Specifically, HB 4474 adoption The proposed language of the new Uniform Commercial Code or UCC of the Uniform Law Committee. UCC Article 12 is set as Finalize Next year, but at the same time, states are free to adopt the proposed language, as demonstrated by Texas’ HB 4474. Patrick Boot, assistant to Hunton Andrews Kurth, told Cointelegraph that the HB 4474 text succinctly pointed out three things:

“It defines virtual currency, and it also determines how to show control over virtual currency, or how to become a qualified purchaser. Finally, it shows how to improve security rights, which is very helpful for using virtual currency to conduct business.”

In order to put the importance of HB 4474 in perspective, Joseph Kelly, CEO of Unchained Capital, a Bitcoin financial services company based in Austin, told Cointelegraph that Unchained and its customers are now more aware of activities due to Texas cryptocurrency laws. For example, the legal certainty of buying Bitcoin or accepting it as collateral for a loan.

Before HB 4474, Kelly mentioned that Bitcoin was too new and too different, and pointed out that the previous laws were not suitable for commercial transactions with Bitcoin. In turn, Kelly explained that Bitcoin’s unclear definition or uncertain judicial treatment poses unnecessary risks to all parties: “Countries that do not act quickly to provide clarity such as HB 4474 will make them Of consumers and companies are at risk of disputes and may result in financial losses.”

Although this clarifies the commercial law status of digital assets, it is important to point out that Texas is not the first state to pass such legislation.Caitlin Long, a cryptocurrency supporter in Wyoming, previously told Cointelegraph that Texas became the fourth in the United States Define virtual currency, Lagging behind Wyoming, Rhode Island and Nebraska.

From legislation to constitutional amendment

Although Texas seems to be following in the footsteps of other innovative states, members of the Texas Blockchain Council (an industry association that advocates blockchain-centric public policy initiatives) shared that larger plans are underway. in progress.

Lee Bratcher, chairman of the Texas Blockchain Council, told Cointelegraph that it is discussing the inclusion of Bitcoin in the Texas Constitution, which may be a constitutional amendment.According to Bracher, the Texas Constitution has Fix More than 500 times. Therefore, he pointed out that an amendment in Texas related to the use of cryptocurrency to pay property taxes is possible. Bracher commented:

“There is an idea that the Texas constitutional amendment allows Bitcoin to be used to pay property taxes. This will put Bitcoin on a par with the gold of the Texas Comptroller’s Office and the Department of the Treasury.”

Although the inclusion of Bitcoin in the Texas Constitution is likely to be the first time for a cryptocurrency-friendly state, Bracher mentioned that such a proposal will not appear on state ballots until 2023: “This proposal It may take several years.” At the same time, Bratcher mentioned that the Texas Blockchain Committee is working closely with Texas House Representative Giovanni Capriglione on this project.

It should also be pointed out that other states such as Florida and Tennessee have recently been exploring ways to accept BTC to pay property taxes.The mayor of Jackson, Tennessee, Scott Conger announced in July this year that the city’s blockchain working group is studying how to allow Property tax paid in BitcoinThe news was announced by the mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, to promote City employee wages Payment in BTC, while also allowing residents to pay in Bitcoin.

By implementing the Bitcoin Amendment to the Texas Constitution, Texas aims to go beyond pure legislation. Foley & Lardner LLP’s legal counsel Peter Vogel told Cointelegraph that the constitutional amendment requires a Texas referendum, which will be a higher legal standard than the encryption law signed by the governor of the Texas legislature.

Challenges to consider

Although Texas is taking unique steps to become one of the most cryptocurrency-friendly states in the United States, there are still challenges that may hinder the advancement of legislation.

For example, Bratcher pointed out that the biggest obstacle to continued cryptocurrency growth in Texas is Washington, D.C. According to him, Cryptocurrency lacks clarity The influence from federal regulators has caused many Texas entrepreneurs to relocate to cryptocurrency-friendly countries such as Switzerland and Liechtenstein: “We cannot control the biggest problem we see at the federal level.”

related: Crypto Cowboys: Texas counties welcome Bitcoin miners with open arms

The SEC may have recently emphasized this concept Threatened to sue Coinbase Its crypto revenue plan. With this in mind, Bratcher pointed out that although Texas has an active crypto ecosystem, the Texas Blockchain Commission is still trying to make room with the state’s securities commission. According to Bracher, the Texas Securities Commission has been very strict on interest-bearing accounts.

In addition, Vogel commented that although Texas has passed and enacted cryptocurrency friends legislation, it is important to understand how these laws will be challenged in Texas and federal courts:

“Before filing a lawsuit and submitting these laws to the judge, it is still difficult to know how the judge will decide to interpret the constitutional amendment or the enacted law. Nevertheless, if Texas voters enact a constitutional amendment, this will be an important issue. Is a milestone for looking at cryptocurrency from a larger social perspective.”