Lawmakers in the Senate of the populous U.S. state of Texas have passed a bill that would largely remove incentives for cryptocurrency miners operating in what appears to be a friendly regulatory environment.
In a 30-1 vote in the Texas Senate on April 12, lawmakers in the 88th legislative session passed Senate Bill 1751, which would amend some utility taxes and code state taxes to increase Restrictions on cryptocurrency miners. The Senate meeting marked the first time in more than a week that the state passed the bill, which was passed by the Texas Senate Commerce Committee on April 4.
The bill will next go to the Texas House of Representatives, which is scheduled to meet on April 13 to discuss the legislation — though it’s unclear whether lawmakers intend to discuss SB 1751 at this time. If passed by the House of Representatives, Texas Governor Greg Abbott — a self-proclaimed “supporter of the proposed cryptocurrency law” — would be able to sign the bill into law.
SB 1751 has drawn national attention from crypto advocacy groups including the Chamber of Digital Commerce and the Satoshi Action Foundation. The groups have urged Texas residents to speak out against the bill through local representatives, but also plan to bring together cryptocurrency mining advocates at a rally at the Texas Capitol on April 25.
Under the proposed law, cryptocurrency miners participate in a program that would compensate them for offloading off the Texas grid, with incentives capped at 10%. Beginning September 2023, some data center operators will also no longer receive state tax credits.
“Elected officials only know how to wield a legal hammer — they don’t know how to be a surgeon,” Fred Thiel, chief executive of mining firm Marathon Digital Holdings, said ahead of the Senate vote. “They started attacking cryptocurrencies, and bitcoin mining got involved in that attack.”
Thiel added that if the bill passes in Texas, some miners, including Riot Platforms, who participated in the grid offloading program could experience reduced revenue. According to the CEO of Marathon Digital, all miners operating in the state will be affected by the new policy, which may cause the company to reconsider its continued operations in Texas.
“What the politicians are trying to do now is push cryptocurrencies and bitcoin out of the country, which means that countries where the U.S. doesn’t want to control the technology will accept it.”
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As reported by Cointelegraph