Montana’s ‘right to mine’ crypto bill passes the House

A bill aimed at enshrining the rights of crypto miners in the state of Montana has been passed in the state’s House of Representatives. The bill, which prohibits local authorities from obstructing crypto-mining operations, was passed on 13 April.

A bill aimed at enshrining the rights of crypto miners in the state of Montana in the United States has passed its third reading by a 64-35 vote in the state’s House of Representatives, bringing it one step closer to becoming law pending the governor’s signature.

The bill, which prohibits local authorities from obstructing crypto mining operations, was passed with a 64-35 vote during the third reading held on 12 April.

The bill seeks to establish a “digital asset mining right” and prevent discriminatory electricity rates charged to cryptocurrency miners. It also aims to safeguard mining operations that take place “at home” and remove the authority of local governments to use zoning laws to impede crypto-mining activities.

Furthermore, the bill bars any additional taxes on using cryptocurrency as a means of payment and categorizes “digital assets” such as cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens as “personal property.”

Autonomy for crypto mining in the state of Montana

The legislation, which had already passed through the Senate in February is expected to make it to the desk of Governor Greg Gianforte. Though Governor Gianforte has the power to veto the bill but is unlikely to do so as he is a member of the Republican Party, to which the bill’s sponsor, state Senator Daniel Zolnikov, also belongs to.

In comparison to the initial draft, the updated version of the legislation contains one important modification. The previous version of section three of the legislation was nearly three full pages long and included various articles unrelated to crypto mining.

Its updated version highlights three particular areas where local authorities’ power is limited, including a prohibition on placing different criteria on mining centers than on data centers. Furthermore, authorities cannot prohibit crypto mining in industrial locations or individual properties.

Similar to Montana, Arkansas also recently passed a bill protecting crypto miners from discriminatory regulations and taxes, which now awaits the governor’s decision.

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