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Montana House of Representatives has voted in favor of approving the “right to mine” crypto bill, which prohibits local authorities from obstructing crypto mining operations. The proposed legislation seeks to establish a “digital asset mining right,” prevent discriminatory electricity rates charged to crypto miners, and remove local government’s authority to impede crypto mining activities utilizing zoning laws. Moreover, the bill also bars additional taxes on using cryptocurrency as a means of payment and categorizes digital assets, including stablecoins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as personal property.
The final reading of the bill, which was voted by 64 votes versus 35 votes, happened on April 12, and now the bill awaits the signature of Governor Greg Gianforte, who can veto or approve the bill. However, it’s worth noting that Gianforte is a Republican, which is the same party as the bill sponsor, state Senator Daniel Zolnikov.
The suggested legislation’s passage is a significant win for pro-crypto advocates, as it would provide an opportunity for thriving mining operations in Montana. Montana is already famous for being a crypto-friendly state; the state’s cool climate reduces mining facilities’ cooling expenses, which are high in other warmer regions. Moreover, the state’s abundant hydroelectric and wind power also make it an attractive location for crypto mining.
The amended draft of the bill includes one crucial change in comparison to the original draft; Section 3 was significantly shortened. The old version of Section 3 occupied approximately three full pages and contained a number of articles that had nothing to do with crypto mining topics. Now, Section 3 outlines three specific areas that limit local authority power. Local governments won’t be able to impose any requirements on mining centers that are different from data centers; they can’t prevent crypto mining in industrial areas and private homes.
As per Senator Daniel Zolnikov, the bill is not just about establishing mining regulations favorable to miners but also positively impacts the entire crypto space.
The Bottom Line
Montana is poised to become a crypto-friendly state after passing the “right to mine” crypto bill. The bill’s provisions prevent obstructing crypto mining operations, discriminatory electricity rates, and remove the local government’s authority to impede mining activities utilizing zoning laws. This move towards a transparent regulatory environment creates excellent opportunities for crypto miners in Montana. The pro-crypto legislation offers crypto traders a much-needed respite amidst a global regulatory crackdown.