The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has approved the sale of alcohol with bitcoins following an inquiry by Sheldon Weisfeld, CEO of Coinvault ATM and founding member of the Texas Coinitiative.
His inquiry comes as Bitcoiners remain in doubt as to state policies on the matter. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had given the green light for such sales. However, the Ohio Department of Public Safety recently ruled against otherwise. Bitcoin, it said, behaves less like a currency and more like a commodity and as such, is not fitting for the purchase of alcohol.
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TABC, however, confirmed that such sales are legal and that merchants engaging in them will not lose their alcohol license. TABC Director of Communications and Governmental Relations Carolyn Beck said:
“Unlike Ohio state law, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code does not require the customer to pay in money when purchasing an alcoholic beverage from a TABC-licensed establishment. Specifically, I am talking about a retailer, winery, brewery or distillery selling to the ultimate consumer. The acceptance of digital currency such as Bitcoin from a consumer in this situation is the establishment’s choice.”
Texas has become a hotbed for Bitcoin activity. It was recently home to the Texas Bitcoin Conference and hosts multiple Bitcoin ATM’s. Political figures in the state have also begun accepting Bitcoin for election campaigns. The uproar would have been audible had the ruling been different.