Montana ‘right to mine’ crypto bill passes the House

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The bill, seeking to enshrine crypto miners’ rights in Montana, United States, successfully passed the third reading in the state’s House of Representatives. Now, the only thing that is required for it to become law is the Governor’s signature. 

Bill number 178, prohibiting local authorities from obstructing the crypto mining operations, was voted in during the third reading by 64 votes versus 35 votes on Apr. 12. The legislation has already passed through Senate voting in February. It now will make it to the table of Governor Greg Gianforte. While Gianforte has a right to veto the bill, he belongs to the Republican party, as does the bill sponsor, state Senator Daniel Zolnikov.

The suggested legislation aims to establish a “digital asset mining right” while also forbidding any discriminatory electricity rates charged to cryptocurrency miners. Additionally, it seeks to safeguard mining operations that take place “at home” and remove the authority of local governments to utilize zoning laws to impede crypto-mining activities.

The bill also bars any extra taxes on the utilization of cryptocurrency as a means of payment and categorizes “digital assets,” comprising cryptocurrencies, including stablecoins, as well as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as “personal property.”

Related: How Montana stands to benefit if its pro-crypto mining bill is approved

The amended draft of the bill contains one major change in comparison to the original draft — Section 3 was significantly shortened. The old version of Section 3 occupied almost three full pages and contained a number of articles, which had nothing to do with the topic of crypto mining. Now Section 3 outlines three specific areas, limiting the power of the local authorities. They won’t be able to impose on mining centers any requirements different from those of data centers. And they might not prevent crypto mining both in industrial areas and in private homes.

In early April, a bill, protecting crypto miners from discriminatory regulations and taxes, has passed through the House of Representatives and Senate in the state of Arkansas and now is also awaiting a Governor’s decision.

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