Austin, TX to host first Texas Blockchain Summit
Texas is already a significant force in the global economy - it has the 9th largest GDP in the world, ahead of many nations including Canada. It's now making moves to become even more financially significant by becoming a US center for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Right now, Bitcoin is enjoying one of its customary surges in price, having increased by 10% on the first weekend of October. Meanwhile, the federal government continues to flip-flop as it tries to figure out how it should respond - whether to regulate cryptocurrency or even to ban it as nations like China have recently done so.
In the absence of a clear steer from the Biden administration, states like Wyoming, Rhode Island and now Texas are taking matters into their own hands. On September 1, two House Bills came into effect in Texas - HB1576 and 4474, both of which make it favorable for Bitcoin mining firms and those who want to use Bitcoin as currency to settle within the state.
The combined effect of these new laws could well be to bring wealth, prosperity and jobs to the state - as those who want to use and benefit from Bitcoin as individuals and businesses are drawn by the opportunities that Texas presents.
First Texas Blockchain Summit to be held this week
This isn't just political posturing by Governor Greg Abbott either. The first Texas blockchain summit will be held in Austin on October 8th, at which various pro-Bitcoin Senators (including Cynthia Lummis and Ted Cruz) will speak, along with a number of other notable figures from the world of Bitcoin.
It may well signal the start of a movement - where the Lone Star State sets out plans that encourage Bitcoin mining firms, cryptocurrency exchanges and blockchain innovators to establish themselves in Texas. This could be achieved by a number of legislative measures, particularly in relation to favorable energy tariffs to encourage Bitcoin miners to operate in the state.
Bitcoin mining and environmental concerns
Bitcoin mining is the process by which new Bitcoin are 'generated'. Mining also supports the global, decentralized network of computers that is the lifeblood of Bitcoin in itself.
Texas has already proven a draw for Bitcoin mining, as evidenced by the HODL-Ranch in West Texas. This enables the use of energy that would otherwise go to waste to run Bitcoin mining operations.
Bitcoin is renowned to use a lot of energy in its mining. It tends to draw a lot of criticism from those like Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. Bitcoin miners are keen to explore ways of using more green and renewable energy to sustain their operations. Many Bitcoin mining operations worldwide use green and renewable energy sources already - around 74% of all energy used according to this survey by Coinshares.
Bitcoin could be good for the environment?
In some instances, it can be a means of reducing emissions and lowering carbon costs from oil mining. Typically oil wells and refineries will 'flare' excess dry gas that is generated as a by-product from oil extraction and processing - by burning it on site.
This polluting activity, together with the direct venting of methane can be avoided - the gas that would otherwise be burned is instead used to generate energy to power the mining rigs, which helps to avoid waste and pollution.
Gaz Prom, the Russian oil and gas corporation has recently announced its piloting of such an operation in West Siberia. There could be an opportunity to establish similar operations in Texas, particularly if state leaders were able to offer incentives to Bitcoin miners to do so in the state.
In Kentucky for example, the state governor has signed a Bitcoin mining incentive bill into law which offers preferential energy tariffs to mining firms in the hope of drawing them to the state.
It will be exciting to see what happens as a result of the Texas Blockchain Summit this week. Bitcoin enthusiasts around the nation and around the world will be watching with interest.
What do you think about Texas associating it with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? Would you like to own some Bitcoin or are you concerned over its supposed environmental impacts? Let me know in the comments section below.
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