Montana State Senate Passes New Bill Protecting Crypto Miners’ Rights

Feb. 24, 2023
Montana State Senate Passes New Bill Protecting Crypto Miners’ Rights

On Thursday, the western US state of Montana passed a bill to protect crypto miners from potential actions against the mining industry. The latest development in favor of crypto miners comes at a moment when crypto traders are at risk of discrimination. According to the new bill, cryptocurrency miners will secure the “right to mine digital assets.”

The Montana Senate approved the bill after receiving 37 votes in favor and 13 against it. Dennis Porter, Co-Founder & CEO of the bitcoin mining advocacy organization Satoshi Action Fund, led the legislation called the ‘Right to Mine.’ 

If the state’s House approves the bill, the end stage would be its confirmation into law after receiving a signature from Governor Greg Gianforte. It’s been a huge success for the miners, and Porter is looking toward the next steps.

Meanwhile, the Senate also proposed that the bill would protect home mining and ban any discrimination against crypto miners regarding electricity rates. However, the bill would strip local government of its power to stop home-mining or use Zoning laws to shut down active crypto mining operations.

Notably, following the approval of the bill from the House of Representatives, extra taxes on the use of crypto as a form of payment would be banned. Moreover, digital assets, including NFTs and cryptocurrencies, will be considered a person’s property, as in the case of stocks and bonds.

Montana is a well-known place for crypto mining because it offers low electricity prices and an environment conducive to cooling mining equipment. In addition, the state government has also decided to let the industry go ahead.

Great Progress For Crypto Miners

Crypto miners have faced worldwide criticism. Because this process of verifying transactions on the blockchain network and receiving new coins as rewards requires high computational power and an enormous amount of electricity, which can be expensive. However, countries and states have passed regulations that make it unprofitable and difficult for crypto miners.

From 2018 to 2022, annual power consumption for global crypto assets has grown exponentially, with energy usage estimated to double or quadruple. Notably, one publication estimated that cryptocurrency’s total global electricity usage was between 120 and 240 billion kilowatts per year by August 2022. That figure exceeded the annual electricity consumption of single countries such as Australia or Argentina.

Meanwhile, the latest news shows that the states want to create a favorable regulatory environment for crypto mining. However, Montana is trying to support mining by providing tax incentives or other assistance to miners to work in the state.

Recently proposed bill appears to favor Montana’s Missoula County bill passed in 2022. Missoula’s bill required the country’s bitcoin miners to build or buy renewable energy assets equal to their energy usage. If approved, the law would repeal the county’s Zoning Ordinance.

On February 8, the Mississippi state Senate approved a similar bill aimed at protecting crypto miners from discrimination, which is awaiting approval by the state House.

Dennis Porter said:

“There is still more work to be done in Montana, but as a new organization we feel confident about the progress we have made.”

Syed Ali Haider

Researcher & Editor
Ali Haider is a Blockchain enthusiast and writer passionate about enhancing the acceptance, adoption, and integration of Blockchain technology worldwide. He has also advocated for digital freedom and cybersecurity for many years.