Texas lawmakers vote to add digital currency to the state’s Bill of Rights, granting individuals the right to use digital currencies like Bitcoin for trading.
In a significant development, Texas legislators have voted overwhelmingly to amend the state’s Bill of Rights and include a provision that recognizes the right of individuals to possess, retain, and utilize digital currencies. The decision was made on Wednesday, May 10th, highlighting the growing acceptance and recognition of cryptocurrencies within the state. With this amendment, Texas joins the ranks of jurisdictions that are taking steps to accommodate and protect the rights of individuals engaging in cryptocurrency transactions. The move showcases the increasing importance and impact of digital currencies in today’s financial landscape.
Bill HJR 146, introduced by State Representative Giovani Capriglione, declares that individuals have the right to use a medium of exchange that is mutually agreed upon, which includes digital currencies, cash, coin, bullion, or scrip, for trading and contracting goods and services, and that this right cannot be violated.
The document received up to 139 votes in favor and only two against, and it includes a statement that “no government shall prohibit or hinder the ownership or holding of any form or quantity of money or other currency.”
The Texas Bill of Rights safeguards essential liberties like freedom of speech, religion and press, similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights. However, it also includes specific clauses pertaining to Texas, such as the right to a prompt trial and the right to possess and carry weapons for self-defense.
Tom Glass, who established the Texas Constitutional Enforcement group, remarked on Thursday, May 11th, that there is one more House vote on HJR 146, and then it goes to the Senate and a vote of the people.
In the context of the bill to include the right to own, hold, and use digital currencies in the Texas Bill of Rights, Glass, the proponent of the bill, has provided an explanation. According to Glass, the purpose of the inclusion is to utilize this provision as a basis for a legal argument in the federal judiciary. The argument would invoke the 9th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which acknowledges the existence of natural rights beyond those explicitly outlined in the first eight amendments. By invoking the 9th Amendment, the aim is to establish the recognition of digital currency ownership and utilization as a fundamental right, thus bolstering the legal standing and protection of individuals engaging in cryptocurrency activities.
According to the Texas Constitutional Enforcement group, the inclusion of digital currencies in the Texas Bill of Rights is crucial to safeguard Texans’ financial privacy. They stated that the use of alternative currencies is necessary to protect the wealth that Texans have worked hard to accumulate from being eroded by an unstable dollar. The group also emphasized that Texans should not be forced to rely solely on the services of global financial elites, as it would put all of their financial assets at risk of devaluation and confiscation.