Texas Blockchain Council director announces run for state house

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Steven Kinard, director of Bitcoin mining analytics at the crypto advocacy group Texas Blockchain Council, has announced that he will run for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives.

In a July 11 announcement, Kinard said he planned to seek the Republican Party nomination for Texas House District 70 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he would serve a two-year term starting in 2025 if elected. The candidate has worked at the Texas Blockchain Council since March 2022 following roughly three years at BOK Financial.

Kinard said he planned to push for “digital freedom” as well as advocate for “strategic technology investments” in his campaign. Should he win the Republican primary for the district, he will likely face off against incumbent Democratic Representative Mihaela Plesa, who has been serving in the Texas House since 2023.

The candidate criticized the U.S. Federal Reserve for “recklessly” attempting to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC), a statement echoed by some other Republican lawmakers including Florida Governor and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. According to Kinard’s campaign website, he planned to “resist and stop any research” into CBDCs.

Related: Texas legislative session winds down with crypto bills still in limbo

Texas, as well as the capital city of Austin in particular, has been a major source of cryptocurrency mining activity for the ecosystem, a situation which only improved following the exodus of many miners from China. Though a bill aimed at limiting incentives for crypto miners passed the Texas State Senate in April, the government has also voted in favor of adding crypto to the state’s Bill of Rights and Governor Greg Abbott has referred to himself as a “crypto law proposal supporter”.

Primaries for 2024 elections in the United States are approaching in the coming months, with crypto and blockchain a major issue for many voters. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has called on crypto users to “elect pro-crypto candidates” in all 435 U.S. congressional districts as lawmakers put forward proposals on legislation to regulate digital assets.

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