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The right to use digital assets to be added to Texas Bill of Rights

Key Takeaways

  • Texas legislature voted positively to add the right to use digital assets as “a mutually agreed upon medium of exchange” to Texas’ Bill of Rights.
  • If contested by the federal government, this could spark a nation-wide precedent to add the use of digital assets to the United States Bill of Rights.

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The state of Texas has made a historic move by voting on an amendment that includes the possession, retainment and utilization of cryptocurrencies in its state Bill of Rights, signaling a major step toward digital-asset adoption. This new addition called House Joint Resolution 146 (HJR146) and backed by the Texas state legislature on May 10 and May 11, passed with 139 votes for and two votes against. The official bill states: 

“The right of the people to own, hold, and use a mutually agreed upon medium of exchange, including cash, coin, bullion, digital currency, or privately issued scrip, when trading and contracting for goods and services shall not be infringed.”

The Texas Bill of Rights mirrors the United States Bill of Rights, meant to protect human rights such as freedom of religion, speech and others stated in the U.S. Bill of Rights. Texas’, however, includes additions such as the human right to own guns and protection from being imprisoned due to debt.

Tom Glass, founding memeber of the Texas Constitutional Enforcement group, went to Twitter to state the next steps of HJR146: 

The forthcoming House vote on HJR 146 marks an important step towards solidifying the right of Texans to utilize digital currencies within their state. If the amendment is successfully added as an amendment and gains popular support, it could set a precedent for other states to follow suit because of the 9th Amendment, as explained in the tweet above.

The 9th Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights states that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” essentially putting into writing that rights not listed in the other amendments exist. If the Federal courts decide to contest this decision, the 9th Amendment could help bolster the mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies across the United States.

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