Texas Representative Looking to Ban Anonymous Crypto
Phil Stephenson, a Republican member that belongs to the Texas House of Representatives introduced a bill that mandates state residents to identify themselves if they plan on using cryptocurrencies. The bill is currently represented as “H.B. No. 4371” and it requires users to provide personal identification for the sending and receiving cryptocurrencies. However, if a user has a “verified identity digital currency”, the identity verification does not need to be submitted to the state.
This bill, if passed will make Texas the first state in the United States to ban the use of cryptocurrencies anonymously.
The person behind this bill Phil Stephenson is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) wants residents to verify their identity should they choose to trade in cryptocurrencies. His bill says that in case it is converted to a law, the changes will take effect on 1st September 2019.
The H.B No. 4371 states
“[Texas] may not use a digital currency that is not verified identity digital currency – The Texas Department of Banking, Credit Union Commission, Texas Department of Public Safety, and State Securities Board shall collaborate to encourage the use of verified identity digital currencies.”
The bill notes that the mentioned agencies will equip the general population with the tools that can help understand the difference between anonymous and verified identity digital currencies. Notably Stephenson recently con his seat against Jennifer Cantu, his Democratic challenger. He strongly believes that his CPA can effectively help the state of Texas improve financial situations. On the other hand, the Texans for Fiscal Responsibility organization gave him a 40 percent favorable rating which is surprisingly low for a Republican lawmaker.
The cryptocurrency supporters have shown their displeasure towards this bill. Andrew Hinkes, co-founder, Athena Blockchain expressed his views on Twitter saying
“Congratulations Texas, you’re the first state to formally attack and attempt to ban anonymous use of cryptocurrency in the U.S.,”
“Other questions : Would any existing cryptocurrency or digital currency qualify as a ‘verified identity digital currency’ as defined? What level of ‘ID’ is required to be ‘verified’? State issued? Are four state administrative bodies the right entities to ‘promote’ a digital currency?”
It’s no surprise that a large chunk of cryptocurrency fans were disappointed about this announcement, specially for a state like Texas which is historically known for its friendly approach towards cryptocurrencies and personal freedom of its citizens.