The Texas legislature introduced a bill on Tuesday to attract more Bitcoin-related businesses to the state and protect the rights of Bitcoin holders, miners, and developers, according to the text of the proposed legislation.
- The bill will provide legal protection for those owning and engaging in Bitcoin-related activities, including the immunity afforded by censorship-resistant Bitcoin spending and the ability to store Bitcoin in an unhosted wallet without state interference.
- Bitcoin miners will be free to engage in mining without restrictions from any law or resolution and to seek out any form of energy for securing the Bitcoin network, according to the bill.
- Texas will support individuals who code or develop on the Bitcoin network under Section 8, Article I of the Texas Constitution, which protects freedom of speech and the press.
- The bill cited the Chinese government’s banning of bitcoin mining and trading in 2021 has led to the quick migration of miners from China to the United States, particularly to Texas, due to the state’s crypto-friendly regulations and relatively low-cost electricity.
- Texas has the fourth-highest Bitcoin hash rate, accounting for 14% of the total hash rate in the United States, according to Foundry USA, the biggest mining pool in North America and the fifth-largest globally.
- In a related development, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on March 20 proposed a bill to the local legislature to ban central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), both foreign and domestic, from being used in Florida, saying they can be used as a means of surveillance on citizens. CBDCs are issued and controlled by central banks, unlike stablecoins and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
- Amid criticism of excessive energy use by Bitcoin miners, U.S. President Joe Biden on March 9 proposed a 30% tax on electricity used in cryptocurrency mining in his budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2024.
See related story: China’s mining exodus flows to U.S. Is Texas the new promised land?