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Montana’s ‘right to mine’ crypto bill moves closer to passing as law

The bill, which attempts to protect the rights of cryptocurrency miners, must still pass muster in the state House before being signed into law by the governor.

After clearing the Montana Senate, a cryptocurrency mining rights bill containing legislation against discrimination against crypto miners is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The proposed legislation would entrench a “right to mine digital assets,” prevent “discriminatory” electricity prices for crypto miners, safeguard “at home” mining, and deprive municipal governments of the authority to outlaw crypto mining businesses through zoning rules.

It also forbids the imposition of additional taxes on the use of cryptocurrency as a payment method and would classify “digital assets,” such as cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens, as “personal property,” alongside other financial instruments such as stocks and bonds.

The law was approved by the state Senate on Feb. 23 with a vote of 37 in favor and 13 against, and it now goes to the House for consideration. If it is passed there as well, it will be signed into law by Governor Greg Gianforte, who has the option to reject the bill.

Montana wants to “protect the right to mine” cryptocurrency and “provide legal certainty” for miners since mining “provides positive economic value” and might potentially “stabilize the grid and provide income for infrastructure enhancements,” according to the law.

The measure was drafted with the assistance of the Satoshi Action Fund, a pro-Bitcoin lobbying organization.

In a January interview, Dennis Porter, CEO of the advocacy group, told Cointelegraph that Montana politicians have exploited zoning regulations to try to force miners out and have explored imposing higher power prices on miner companies.

Missoula County in Montana established laws in April 2019 requiring miners to operate only in light and heavy industrial areas and to utilize only renewable energy. The bill, if passed, would nullify the county’s zoning laws.

In early February, the Mississippi state Senate enacted a similar law to protect cryptocurrency miners from discrimination, which is now being considered by the state House.

Meanwhile, Missouri’s Digital Asset Mining Protection Act, which seeks to safeguard cryptocurrency miners’ rights, was introduced to the state senate in mid-January.

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