Arkansas State House, comprising the Senate and House of Representatives, has passed a bill to protect Bitcoin mining in the state and has sent the bill to the governor.
The Arkansas Data Centers Act of 2023 seeks to clarify regulations of digital mining in the state. Sponsored by Rep Rick McClure and Senator Joshua Bryant, the bill originated in the House and was first read on March 30, 2023.
Since then, the bill has gone through multiple readings and committee stages in the House and Senate and was slightly amended. It is now waiting for the governor’s assets.
Arkansas’ Bitcoin Mining Bill
According to the bill, Bitcoin mining operations must comply with state laws on tax and business guidelines to operate in the state. If passed, miners will be free to mine Bitcoin in Arkansas as long as they don’t cause stress on the electrical grid.
Individuals can also operate home Bitcoin mining and pay the appropriate utility rates.
CEO and Co-founder of the non-profit organization, Satoshi Action Fund, Dennis Porter, commented on the move from Arkansas, saying in a Tweet:
The state of Arkansas has pulled off a surprise victory and become the first in the nation to pass the ‘Right to Mine’ #Bitcoin bill in both the House and Senate.
Porter added that he hopes to join the Governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for the signing ceremony.
The bill recognizes that data centers have economic value as they create jobs and pay taxes. Thus, guidelines are in place to prevent Bitcoin miners from discriminatory taxes and regulations.
This means that local governments cannot create regulations that target the crypto-mining industry, and digital asset mining businesses will be able to appeal zoning changes. The Arkansas public utility provider is also barred from imposing “unreasonably discriminatory rates” on miners.
Additionally, the bill defines several terms, such as digital assets, digital asset mining, node, and digital asset mining business.
US States and Bitcoin Mining Regulation
While the broader crypto industry faces increased regulatory scrutiny, several U.S. states are trying to regulate mining activities in their jurisdiction. Examples of such states include Montana and Missouri, which recently passed similar bills.
However, some states and local governments have taken a hardline approach toward the industry, citing environmental concerns and stress on the electric grid. For example, New York imposed a two-year moratorium on mining in the state.
Meanwhile, others, like Buncombe County in North Carolina, are considering implementing restrictions for miners. Texas is also reportedly trying to remove incentives for crypto miners, and the bill is currently in the Senate.
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