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Texas Blockchain Council Spearheads Passage of Two Blockchain Laws

The Texas Blockchain Council announced that it spearheaded the passage of two major pieces of blockchain-related legislation during the 87th Texas State Legislative Session: HB 1576, the “Blockchain Work Group Bill”, and HB 4474 the “Virtual Currencies Bill”. The TBC helped research and generate support for both bills.

HB 1576 mandates the establishment of a Blockchain Work Group for the State of Texas, comprised of legislators and private citizens with subject-matter expertise on blockchain technology, in order to formulate blockchain-related policy recommendations for the State. HB 4474 updates the Texas Uniform Commercial Code to define virtual currencies, how control over such currencies is established, and how a security interest in a virtual currency is perfected. In addition, the UCC amendment clarifies how a virtual currency would be used to make payments and in loan disputes.

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The bills enjoyed broad, bipartisan support, with Representative Tan Parker and Senator Angela Paxton championing them in their respective chambers. Texas Governor Greg Abbott also vocally supported both bills on social media and signed them into law in June. The impact of the legislation was felt immediately, when on June 10th the Texas Department of Banking affirmed that banks chartered in Texas may custody virtual currencies.

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Lee Bratcher, President of the Texas Blockchain Council, described how the TBC is keeping the momentum behind blockchain technology strong: “Working closely with our champions in the Texas Senate and House of Representatives, the Texas Blockchain Council ensured that blockchain technology remained a priority for our State during a Legislative Session where many other pressing issues competed for legislators’ attention. This reflects our mission of making Texas a leader in blockchain innovation.”

Natalie Smolenski, Chair of the Board of the Texas Blockchain Council, added: “These two laws are the opening salvo letting the world know that Texas is open for blockchain business. As an entrepreneur working on blockchain technology in Texas since 2015, this has sent a signal that Texas welcomes value creators like us with open arms.”

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