Two bills aimed at furthering the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain are now law in the state of Texas.
Texas House Bills 4474 and 1576, passed by both chambers in the state legislature in May and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in June, officially took effect on Sept. 1. H.B. 1576 establishes a blockchain working group in Texas, while H.B. 4474 amends the state’s Uniform Commercial Code to recognize cryptocurrencies under commercial law.
Lee Bratcher, president of the Texas Blockchain Council, said in a July interview that H.B. 1576 could “set out a road map” for Texas to invest in and take advantage of blockchain technology, while the other bill better defines the security interests for Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies so “institutions can feel more comfortable getting involved” in the space.
“[Bitcoin mining] is an awesome way for Texas to create jobs, especially in rural areas,” said Bratcher, adding that the supply chain sector and medical technology in the state could see benefits from Texas promoting crypto-friendly laws.
The Texas Blockchain Council president told Cointelegraph in March that Texas adapting commercial law to blockchain innovation and digital asset regulations could bring the state more in line with Wyoming, which has a Digital Asset Law which went into effect in July 2019. Governor Abbott has also previously described himself as a “crypto law proposal supporter” — specifically referencing H.B. 4474 — and seemed to encourage crypto mining firms to operate in Texas.
Following China cracking down on many crypto mining operations, some BTC miners have set up shop in Texas — the state is currently home to BlockCap, Riot Blockchain, and others. In addition, major supermarket chain H-E-B announced in June it would be installing crypto ATMs for its Texas stores.