Texas takes action to amend bitcoin in state constitution

Texas is aiming to catch up with other crypto-friendly states and then some, but commentators say the change to the state constitution won’t happen immediately. 

 Everything is bigger in Texas, which is why it’s no surprise that the Lone Star State is set to become the next Bitcoin (BTC) hotspot in the United States. More recently, Texas implemented two laws to ensure that cryptocurrencies are recognized under state trade laws. Texas House Bills 4474 and 1576 both came into effect on September 1, after being promulgated by Governor Greg Abbott last June. While H.B. 1576 founded a blockchain task force in Texas, H.B. 4474 provides a comprehensive framework to demonstrate that virtual currency has its place under Texas law. 

 Specifically, H.B. 4474 adopted the proposed wording of the new Uniform Commercial Code of the Uniform Law Commission, or UCC. UCC Article 12 is expected to be completed next year, but states are free to adopt the proposed wording in the meantime, as Texas’ HB 4474 demonstrated. Patrick Boot, Partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth, told TechynoWorld that the content of HB 4474 precisely highlights three things in particular:

“It defines virtual currency and establishes how control over virtual currency is expressed or how to become a qualified buyer. Finally, it shows how to perfect collateral, which is extremely useful for doing business with virtual currency. “

To place the importance of HB in view of 4474, Joseph Kelly, CEO of Unchained Capital – an Austin-based Bitcoin financial services company – told TechynoWorld that due to Texas crypto laws, Unchained and their clients now enjoy greater legal certainty regarding activities such as buying or accepting Bitcoin as collateral. for loans.

Before H.B. 4474, Kelly mentioned that Bitcoin is too new and different, noting that previous laws were not very suitable for commercial transactions with Bitcoin. In turn, Kelly explained that unclear definitions or uncertain judicial remedies for Bitcoin create unnecessary risk for all parties: “Countries do not act quickly to provide obvious types like HB 4474 expose consumers and their businesses to litigation and potential loss of money. 

 While this clarifies the status of digital asset trade law, it is important to note that Texas is not the first state to pass such legislation. Caitlin Long, a crypto advocate based in Wyoming, previously told TechynoWorld that Texas has become the 4th US state to define virtual currencies, after Wyoming, Rhode Island and Nebraska.

From Legislative to Constitutional Amendment

While Texas appears to follow the stages of other innovative states, Texas Blockchain Board members – an industry association that advocates blocking public policy initiatives that are broader plans are underway. 

 Lee Brasher, Chairman of the Texas Blockchain Council, told Techynoworld that there are discussions to integrate Bitcoin into the Constitution of Texas, possibly as a constitutional amendment. Depending on the drummer, the Constitution of Texas has been modified more than 500 times. As such, he noted that a modification of the state of Texas related to the use of crypto codes for the function of the payment of the property tax is a possibility. Breat commented: 

“There is an idea of a constitutional alteration of Texas to allow the payment of the property tax in Bitcoin. This would put to Bitcoin on a pair of gold at the desk and treasure of the Texas controller.” 

While the incorporation of Bitcoin into the Texas Constitution could very well be a first for pro-crypto states, Bratcher mentioned that such a proposal would not appear on state ballots until next year. . 2023: “This proposal is likely to take years. In the meantime, Bratcher mentioned that the Texas Blockchain Council is working closely with Texas representative Giovanni Capriglione on this project. 

 It should also be noted that other states like Florida and Tennessee are recently exploring ways to accept BTC for the payment of property tax. Jackson, Tennessee Mayor Scott Conger announced in July this year that the city’s blockchain task force was working on ways to enable the payment of property tax in Bitcoin. The news comes shortly after Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced the promotion of city employee salaries paid in BTC while allowing residents to pay fees in Bitcoin.

By implementing the Bitcoin Amendment into the Texas Constitution, Texas aims to go beyond pure law. Peter Vogel, an advisor at Foley & Lardner LLP, told TechynoWorld that the constitutional amendments require a vote from the citizens of Texas, which would be a higher legal standard than crypto laws enacted by the Texas legislature signed by the governor.