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Texas Senate committee moves forward on bill removing incentives for crypto miners

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The Texas Senate Committee on Business and Commerce has passed legislation that would largely remove incentives for miners operating under the state’s crypto-friendly regulatory environment. 

In an April 4 session of the committee, Texas lawmakers agreed to move forward in a 10-0 vote on Senate Bill 1751 first introduced by state Senator Lois Kolkhorst. The proposed legislation would amend sections of Texas’ utilities and tax code to add restrictions for crypto mining facilities.

Under the bill, crypto firms participating in a program intended to compensate them for load reductions on Texas’ power grid would be capped for anticipated demand of “less than 10 percent of the total load required by all loads in the program.” Certain crypto mining companies would also not receive an abatement on state taxes for participation in the program starting in September 2023.

According to Dennis Porter, a Bitcoin (BTC) mining advocate and CEO of the Satoshi Action Fund, the changes to the state’s code would effectively eliminate incentives for crypto miners to create jobs in rural parts of Texas. He claimed that lawmakers on the committee had been “swayed by the influence of the powerful bill sponsor” — likely referring to Senator Kolkhorst.

Related: Bitcoin mining advocate is going state-to-state to educate US lawmakers

Texas has become somewhat of a beacon for crypto miners due to its seemingly loose regulatory regime and in the wake of the practice being largely banned in China. Crypto has been recognized as part of the state’s commercial code since 2021, and Governor Greg Abbott — re-elected to another four-year term in November 2022 — has previously referred to himself as a “crypto law proposal supporter” in the state.

SB 1751 will likely next move to the Texas State Senate for a floor vote.

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