A crypto-based mining rights bill that prohibits discrimination against miners is now one step closer to becoming a law after passing a state Senate vote. The proposed law would preserve the “right to mine digital assets” while also prohibiting “discriminatory” energy rates from being charged to miners. It would also protect home miners while stripping local governments of any power to utilize zoning laws as a means to hinder mining operations.
The bill also forbids the charging of additional taxes on crypto that is used as a form of payment and would label “digital assets,” including both cryptocurrencies and NFTs, as “personal property” along with other types of financial products like stocks and bonds.
The bill passed Montana’s Senate with a vote of 37 yay and 13 nays and will now be heading to the House for possible approval. Should it pass there as well, the last step would be for the bill to be signed into law by state Governor Greg Gianforte. It is possible that he could choose to veto the crypto-friendly bill.
The bill states that the state of Montana wishes to “protect the right to mine” cryptocurrencies and “create legal certainty” for miners because the act of mining “provides positive economic value” and may perhaps “stabilize the grid and provide revenue for infrastructure upgrades.” The bill was penned with the assistance of the Satoshi Action Fund, a Bitcoin lobbying group.
Dennis Porter, chief executive officer of the Satoshi Action Fund, told new source Cointelegraph in January that leaders in the state have been using zoning laws in an attempt to drive miners out and have even spoken of hitting miners with increased energy rates.
In 2019, Montana’s Missoula County passed policies that required crypto miners to operate strictly within specific industrial districts and demanded that miners only use renewable energy sources. If the new bill is passed, the law would immediately overturn the zoning ordinance.
Last month, the Mississippi Senate passed a comparable bill in an attempt to protect miners from discrimination. That bill is currently on its way to the state’s House of Representatives.