On April 21, the Texas House of Representatives approved a bill requiring cryptocurrency exchanges to maintain sufficient reserves to fulfill their clients’ payment obligations.
According to the announcement by the Texas House of Representatives, the “HB 166” bill filed by State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione was passed by a majority of 150 members, aiming to “rebuild trust in the market by requiring Proof of Reserves for digital asset exchanges.”
Texas Aims to Protect Citizens
Perianne Boring, Founder and CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, congratulated Rep. Capriglione and the Texas House of Representatives for approving a law aimed at protecting citizens from financial issues caused by exchanges while addressing a critical problem like Proof of Reserves.
“Congratulations to Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-TX) and the Texas House of Representatives on the passage of HB 1666, which seeks to protect Texas consumers’ investments in digital assets and addresses the critical issue of Proof of Reserves for exchanges.
She also stated that the approval of the HB 166 bill “represents an essential step in ensuring the stability and security of the digital asset market.” Similarly, she emphasized the importance of requiring exchanges to provide Proof of Reserves, proving their ability to cover all user funds.
“The Proof of Reserves requirement in this bill is exactly what should be required by custodians to demonstrate that they hold sufficient assets to cover all customer deposits.”
The Proof of Reserves requirement would prevent exchanges from being used to commit fraud or scams like FTX, categorized as one of the largest financial frauds in US history, through which, according to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thousands of American citizens lost millions of dollars.
Proof of Reserves is a process by which a cryptocurrency exchange demonstrates that it holds sufficient funds to cover customer deposits. This transparency helps protect customers’ assets and can increase trust in the exchange.
In contrast, traditional banks use a fractional reserve system, in which they are not required to hold the full amount of customers’ deposits in reserve, which can create liquidity issues during times of financial stress. While it is true that banks, due to their size and regulatory oversight, may be less likely to destabilize than smaller exchanges, both systems can face risks during extreme events or crises.
Texas Becomes a Regulatory Role Model
Thanks to this new law, the state of Texas has become a regulatory role model for other US jurisdictions, possibly being replicated or used as a template to improve regulations that continue to be a problem for cryptocurrency exchanges.
As reported by CryptoPotato recently, Bittrex, one of the largest and oldest US exchanges, announced the closure of its operations due to the uncertain regulatory environment in the country that has become an obstacle for such businesses.
Binance and Coinbase are other exchanges that have faced issues with regulators due to the lack of clear laws allowing them to operate smoothly, reaching the point of considering leaving the country.