Texas Legislature Proposes Constitutional Amendment To Protect Consumers’ Virtual Currency Rights

Filed on March 2, 2017, House Joint Resolution 89 proposes a constitutional amendment “relating to the right to own, hold, and use any mutually agreed upon medium of exchange.” The resolution states that the “right of the people to own, hold, and use a mutually agreed upon medium of exchange, including cash, coin, bullion, digital currency, or scrip, when trading and contracting for goods and services shall not be infringed. No government shall prohibit or encumber the ownership or holding of any form or amount of money or other currency.” If passed, Texas will be the first state to establish constitutional virtual currency rights and limit subsequent efforts to regulate digital currency.

After filing the bill, Rep. Schaefer expressed his support for the bill and its timely filing on Texas Independence Day: “Remember when FDR confiscated gold? Today I filed a bill to guarantee your right under the Tx Constitution to posses[s] your own cash, gold, bitcoin, and other currency. B/c future government shenanigans with currency are not that far fetched. I like to call it the Right to Keep Gold Bricks in your Backyard bill. Happy TX Independence Day, y'all.”

H. J. Res. 89 and other proposed constitutional amendments must be passed by at least 2/3 majority in both the Texas Senate and House of Representatives. If successful, the proposal will then be filed with the secretary of state and voted on by Texas voters in the November 7, 2017, general election.