Montana ‘right to mine’ crypto bill passes the House

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

Bill number 178, prohibiting local authorities from obstructing the crypto mining operations, was passed during the third reading by 64 votes to 35 on April 12. The legislation had already passed through Senate voting in February. It will now make it to the desk of Governor Greg Gianforte. While Gianforte has a right to veto the bill, it’s unlikely he will do so, as he belongs to the Republican party, along with the bill’s sponsor, state Senator Daniel Zolnikov.

The legislation aims to establish a “digital asset mining right” and forbid 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 using cryptocurrency as a means of payment. It categorizes “digital assets” comprising cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and nonfungible tokens as “personal property.“

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

The amended bill draft contains one significant change compared with the original draft, with section three significantly shortened. The old version of section three occupied almost three full pages and included several articles unrelated to crypto mining. Now, section three outlines three specific areas limiting the power of the local authorities, including a restriction on imposing different requirements on mining centers from those on data centers. Additionally, authorities cannot prevent crypto mining in industrial areas and private homes.

In early April, a bill protecting crypto miners from discriminatory regulations and taxes passed through the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate, and now also awaits the governor’s decision.

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