The state of Montana has passed a bill that aims to establish the rights of cryptocurrency miners. The passing of the “Bitcoin Rights” bill marks a significant milestone for the crypto industry. Bill number 178, successfully passed the third reading in Montana’s House of Representatives on April 12. The bill passed with 64 votes in favor and 35 against. For your information, bill number 178 forbids local authorities from preventing crypto mining. Having already been approved by the Senate in February, the bill now only requires the signature of Governor Greg Gianforte to become law.
The legislation, sponsored by state Senator Daniel Zolnikov, seeks to enshrine a “Bitcoin mining right.” Moreover, it aims to prevent discriminatory electricity rates from being charged to cryptocurrency miners. Additionally, the bill aims to protect home-based mining operations as well. The bill limits the power of local governments to use zoning laws to stall or stop crypto-mining activities.
Additionally, the bill prohibits any extra taxes on the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. According to the bill, cryptocurrencies are classified as”digital assets.” This category includes cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and nonfungible tokens. To add to that, the bill also considers these digital assets as “personal property.”
The final draft of the bill includes a significant amendment to section three compared to the original version. Firstly, the updated section is now considerably shorter. Lastly, it outlines specific areas that restrict the authority of local governments when it comes to crypto. These restrictions include:
- preventing the imposition of different requirements on mining centers,
- prohibiting local authorities from stopping crypto mining in industrial zones and private residences.
Arkansas Working On A Similar Bill As Well
The recent passing of this bill in Montana is very similar to legislation in Arkansas. Earlier this month, the Arkansas House of Representatives and the Senate approved a similar bill. This bill was designed to protect crypto miners from regulations and taxes that could be discriminatory. Now, it is awaiting the governor’s decision, similar to the current status of Montana’s bill.
Governor Gianforte has the right to veto Montana’s bill. However, it is unlikely that he will do so given his Republican affiliation. Additionally, his bill’s sponsor, Senator Zolnikov, is a member of the Republican party. This makes the veto even more unlikely. If signed into law, the bill will represent a significant victory for cryptocurrency advocates in the US. Moreover, this could encourage other states to consider similar measures.
What Does The Montana Bitcoin Bill Mean For The Crypto Industry
The passage of the Bitcoin Rights Bill highlights the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies. Additionally, it highlights the need for clear regulatory frameworks to govern their use. By establishing specific rights for crypto miners, Montana is demonstrating a proactive approach to embracing the industry. Not only that, but it also promotes the potential benefits of Bitcoin.
The popularity of cryptocurrencies is constantly increasing. With it, the demand for mining rigs has surged as well. The bill’s provisions to protect miners from discrimination aim to ensure that the industry can continue to grow and prosper in Montana. As more states consider their stance on cryptocurrency mining and regulation, the passage of the Bitcoin Rights Bill in Montana could serve as a blueprint for future legislation. Establishing clear rights and protections for miners is a necessity. Now, lawmakers will have an easier time fostering a supportive, pro-crypto environment.