Texas Lawmaker Proposes Constitutional Right to Own Bitcoin

Stan Higgins
Mar 3, 2017 at 15:33 UTC
Updated Mar 3, 2017 at 15:35 UTC

A Texas lawmaker has put forward a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect the right to own and use digital currencies like bitcoin in the state.

Texas House Joint Resolution 89, sponsored by Representative Matt Schaefer, would alter Article I of the Texas state constitution to enshrine the right to use any “mutually agreed upon medium of exchange”. The bill was introduced on 2nd March.

What’s more, the amendment would impede any government effort to interfere with that use or ownership.

As the resolution 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.”

If passed by the legislature, the proposed amendment would then be included on the ballot for approval by Texas voters this November.

The proposal is perhaps unsurprising, given the state’s libertarian bent and cultural leanings toward the tech. The bill doesn’t put digital currencies on the same level as legal tender, and state regulators don’t recognize bitcoin as such in light of guidelines published in mid-2014.

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