The legislative session in Texas is coming to an end on May 29, leaving several bills related to the digital asset space unresolved.
One of the bills, Senate Bill 1751, which aims to impose restrictions on crypto mining firms, remains stagnant in the Committee on State Affairs after passing in the state senate. Due to the lack of progress, it is unlikely that the bill will be addressed until the next regular session in January 2025, as the Texas Legislature convenes every other year.
Under Senate Bill 1751, crypto mining firms participating in a program for load reductions on Texas’ power grid would have their incentives capped at 10%. Without any movement on the bill, these companies are expected to continue enjoying certain benefits of operating in Texas.
However, two other crypto-related bills have successfully passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature and now await approval or veto from Governor Greg Abbott. If no action is taken by the governor, the bills automatically become law under Texas legislation.
One of the bills, House Bill 1666, is a proof-of-reserves bill that would require exchanges to maintain reserves sufficient to fulfill customer obligations and submit reports to the Texas Department of Banking. The second bill, House Bill 591, permits Bitcoin miners in Texas to utilize flare gas emissions for powering their operations.
While Governor Abbott has shown support for crypto law proposals in the past, it remains uncertain what action he will take regarding these bills. The governor typically has a 10-day window to veto legislation he opposes, but this window extends to 20 days for bills received within 10 days of the session’s end. This suggests that House Bill 591 may already be effectively in effect, while Governor Abbott has until mid-June to act on House Bill 1666.
Texas has seen significant mining activities, prompting concerns about energy usage and the environment at the federal level. In response, lawmakers in the state have also proposed amendments to the Texas Bill of Rights to affirm residents’ rights to possess, retain, and utilize digital currencies, with the bill currently under consideration by the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce.