By Jamie Redman. Originally posted on news.bitcoin.com.
The lone star state of Texas has always been well-known for its stance on constitutional rights. On March 2, State Representative Matt Schaefer submitted a proposal to revise the state’s constitution to say that virtual currencies like bitcoin are mediums of exchange that “no government shall prohibit”.
Texas Lawmaker Says ‘No Government Shall Encumber the Ownership of Bitcoin’
The Texas lawmaker wants it to be known that the use of digital currencies is a citizen’s fundamental right. The recently submitted Texas House Joint Resolution 89 proposes to change Article I of the state’s constitution which says that people have the right to use a variety of mediums of exchange. Just as the state of Texas vehemently opposes government interference with gun rights, the amendment would protect currencies like bitcoin in this fashion. Resolution 89 states:
Article I, Texas Constitution, is amended by adding…the right of the people to own, hold, and use a mutually agreed upon medium of exchange, including cash, coin, bullion, digital currency, or scrip when trading and contracting for goods and services shall not be infringed. No government shall prohibit or encumber the ownership or holding of any form or amount of money or other currency.
‘I Don’t Recall Asking Permission from Anyone to Use Bitcoin’
Cryptocurrency use has certainly increased in certain parts of Texas over the years with many proponents and companies based in the area. For instance, Texas is home to digital currency companies such as Factom, Stash Incorporated, Coinvault, Techendeavors, and the radio broadcast, the Crypto Show. The state of Texas is also home to 48 bitcoin automated tellers and many meetup groups which take place in Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Furthermore, there are many unique merchants in Texas that accept the currency as well, including the Capital Coin & Bullion and Central Texas Gunworks.
Bitcoin.com chatted with the Austin-based Crypto Show host, Dan Sessoms, who explains his opinion of the proposed constitutional amendment. Sessoms tells Bitcoin.com: “I don’t know that bitcoin or any other crypto is more popular in Texas than other states. It does seem to be popular in Austin though. I would attribute that to Austin being a major Tech hub”.
The Crypto Show host adds: “The recent news of adding Bitcoin to a constitutional amendment in Texas is somewhat encouraging, but I don’t recall ever asking permission from anyone to use Bitcoin. There have been several politicians in the past that have ‘elected’ to accept bitcoin as a donation option for their campaign, but let’s face it, that was pure greed, and those politicians wouldn’t lift a finger to help Bitcoin. Governor Greg Abbot accepted bitcoin, but it’s unlikely he’ll support this amendment. This is a guy who has sworn that marijuana legalization will not happen on his watch. Real forward-thinking guy. I guess it would be nice see a constitutional amendment, but I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t happen”.
The proposed amendment will be submitted to voters in November 2017.