Senator Cruz Wants Bitcoin Payments
Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas lawmaker, introduced a resolution in the Senate on Wednesday, advocating for the use of cryptocurrency payments within certain areas of the Capitol. This move is a sign of Republicans’ continued focus on regulations related to digital assets. The resolution would apply to officials who oversee day-to-day operations within the House of Representatives and Senate, encouraging them to work with vendors that accept digital assets as a form of payment for goods and services.
The proposal references areas of the Capitol where digital payments could be implemented, such as gift shops or vending machines. In November of 2022, Cruz had previously proposed the adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a form of payment within Capitol buildings through a similarly worded document.
The changes were put forth in a concurrent resolution, which is generally used to make or amend rules that apply to both houses. According to the Senate’s website, while it doesn’t require the president’s signature to take effect, the measure would still need to be approved by both the House and Senate.
This move by Ted Cruz follows the creation of the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion earlier this month. As a subsection of the House Financial Services Committee, one of its main goals is to establish “clear rules of the road among federal regulators.”
Texas A Bitcoin Mining Hub
Texas has become a hub for mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, an industry that Cruz has largely embraced. After visiting a mining facility this past summer, the Senator said, “I am proud to lead the fight for the crypto industry in the Senate.”
His history of supporting the cryptocurrency industry goes back well before this. In August of 2021, Cruz vocalized support for amending a $1 trillion infrastructure bill to exempt non-custodial crypto firms, like Bitcoin miners, from a tax reporting requirement. Although the effort ultimately failed, Cruz later introduced legislation that sought to repeal the cryptocurrency provisions included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act entirely.
Cruz is not alone in his interest in cryptocurrency, as several other elected officials, including Sen. Cynthia Lummis, have also provided insight into their purchases of Bitcoin through financial disclosures. A filing indicates that Cruz purchased between $15,001 and $50,000 worth of Bitcoin through the exchange River Financial, almost exactly one year ago.
Overall, Senator Ted Cruz’s latest move to advocate for cryptocurrency payments within the Capitol, along with the recent creation of the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion, shows the growing interest and support for the cryptocurrency industry among Republicans. With the increasing adoption and mainstream acceptance of digital assets, it is likely that we will see more efforts to establish clear regulations and guidelines for their use in the future.