A Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, Phil Stephenson, has just submitted a bill requiring state citizens to use cryptocurrencies. H. B. No. 4371 states that persons sending and receiving digital currencies must be aware. If the user happens to use a "verified identity digital currency," they do not need to provide the state with a confirmation.
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Texas House Bill 4371 wants digital currency users to verify their identity
Texas may be the first state in the US to ban the anonymous use of cryptocurrencies. Representative Phil Stephenson, a staunch Texas Republican and Chartered Accountant (CPA), wants residents of the state to verify their identity when choosing digital currencies. Stephenson's H.B. No. 4371 states that the bill will enter into force on 1 September 2019. Section 662.02 details how a person must verify the identity of the sender before accepting a payment in digital currency. Strangely, the person "is not required to verify the identity of a person sending a payment when the payment is sent using a verified digital currency."
H. B. No. 4371 continues:
[Texas] may not use a digital currency that is not a verified identity currency – The Texas Department of Banking, the Credit Union Commission, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the State Securities Board work together to promote the use of verified digital identity currencies ,
"Attack on anonymous use of cryptocurrencies"
Stephenson's bill states that the agencies mentioned provide the public with tools to help them pinpoint the difference between a verified digital identity and a currency that offers anonymity. The Texas legislature, which recently won its seat against Democratic challenger Jennifer Cantu, believes its CPA can help the state in financial situations. The nonprofit organization Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, however, rated Stephenson positive at 40 percent, which is very low for a Republican legislator.
The proponents of the cryptocurrency were quite nervous when they heard the news that a bill banning the anonymous use of digital currencies was being tabled. "Congratulations, Texas, you are the first state to formally attack the anonymous use of the cryptocurrency in the US and try to ban it." Andrew Hinkes, Co-founder and General Counsel of Athena Blockchain, called out on twitter.
Other questions: Would an existing cryptocurrency or digital currency be called a "verified identity currency" as defined? Which ID level needs to be "verified"? State issued? Are four government agencies the right entities to "promote" a digital currency?
It is safe to say that a large majority of cryptocurrency fans were discouraged from hearing about the bill. Texas is known for its friendly region when it comes to digital currencies and personal freedoms like gun rights. Passing the bill could affect business operations and bring a host of other challenges for citizens who believe in privacy.
What do you think of H. B. of Republican Phil Stephenson? No. 4371? Please tell us what you think about this topic in the comments below.
Picture credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay and Capitol.texas.gov.
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