Group advocates to strengthen the links in Texas’ blockchain industry – The Real Deal




Cryptocurrency may have seen better days, but many believe the technology that powers it still has a bright future.

A Texas group has provided recommendations to help the state grow its burgeoning blockchain industry, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Texas Workgroup on Blockchain Matters — composed of members from state agencies, universities and the blockchain industry — provided about 20 measures to help strengthen the industry.

The recommendations include how the state should use the blockchain for commercial contracts, privacy, education and digital identity, as well as how to regulate blockchain-related businesses, the outlet reported. It also includes recommendations on providing tax incentives to further attract members of the blockchain community.

“I hope that this report is going to help to shine a light on things that we identified as key,” workgroup member Christopher Calicott told the outlet. “The report is really the first step and invites a great sharing of ideas.”

Texas — notably in Austin and in rural areas — has been the hub of significant blockchain activity, particularly since China banned cryptomining.

“It’s still quite early days (but) it’s definitely growing,” Calicott told the outlet. “If you’re a serious business player and you’re anywhere else and you’re thinking about participating in, for example, securing the bitcoin network, you’re definitely considering what the options might be in Texas.”

The nature of the industry requires education according to Calicott, hence the efforts of the workgroup, which hopes that at least some of its recommendations are taken up by lawmakers.

While prominent politicians such as Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott have expressed their support for the industry in the past, opponents say further investment in blockchain could stress the state’s power grid, as well as damage the environment.

— Ted Glanzer

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