Amid Pending State Mining Bills, One Has Become Law
Montana bill protecting crypto miners from discrimination was signed this week amid broader state-level push on the topic
Kiran Jyothi VP/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks
Montana’s governor has officially signed crypto mining-friendly legislation that passed the state’s house and senate earlier this year, while similar laws remain on the precipice.
The Montana bill, officially signed Tuesday, allows industrial and at-home miners to conduct their business free from government interference. It notes that such activities offer “positive economic value” for US individuals and companies.
The law prohibits requirements for crypto miners that differ from those applicable to data centers and prevents “discriminatory” digital asset mining utility rates. It also prohibits taxing crypto as a payment method.
Brett Quick, head of government affairs at Crypto Council for Innovation, said policymakers in Montana recognize the importance of the emerging technology and the role it plays in the broader energy transition.
“The energy grid is facing significant challenges related to grid instability, energy transfer and storage, and harmful byproducts,” she told Blockworks in an email. “Crypto data centers have a unique mix of flexibility, consistency and transparency that can help with some of these challenges and be a partner in the energy transition.”
It is unclear whether Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ has signed the act into law. Blockworks was unable to immediately reach a representative for the state legislature.
Meanwhile Missouri also seeks protection for miners, similarly limiting actions the state can take against such entities.
The Missouri bill was last approved by a House committee with a vote of 7-3 on April 20, records indicate.
Dennis Porter, CEO of the Satoshi Action Fund — a non-profit that educates policymakers on bitcoin — said in a Thursday Twitter video that with a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, states have a chance to lead the way on crypto regulation.
He likened the strategy to the start of cannabis rights in the US, noting that Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana in 2012. A little over a decade later, recreational use of the substance is legal in 22 states.
“You’re not going to see a whole lot of movement happening in DC, although myself and many others will continue the educational work that needs to take place there for when there is a united government,” Porter said of crypto regulation. “In the meantime, we will be notching wins at the state level.”
A crypto mining-related bill in New York, which paused proof-of-work crypto mining operations, was signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul last November.
Other states have floated proposals in an effort to regulate the sector that are still being considered by state legislatures, or have stalled.
The Montana bill signing happened the same week that the Biden administration floated a 30% tax on electricity costs associated with bitcoin mining.
Though the proposal seeks to address “economic and environmental costs,” industry executives blasted the plan, noting it could push mining offshore and actually lead to miners using less green energy.
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