The Montana Senate recently passed a bill designed to protect crypto miners operating within the state. The proposed law, which is currently making its way through the state’s House of Representatives, seeks to protect both individual and commercial miners in Montana against discriminatory laws by scrapping some of the rules that have the potential to undermine their operations.
Specifically, the bill seeks to protect miners against taxes on digital assets used as a means of payment. Additionally, it endeavors to permit home crypto miners who use less than 1 megawatt of energy annually to do so, except when in contravention of existing noise bylaws.
Furthermore, it seeks to do away with any energy rate classification that discriminates against home crypto mining and digital asset businesses.
The bill comes after years of concerted efforts by lobbyists and crypto companies to put more crypto-favorable laws on the books in the state.
Satoshi Action Fund CEO Dennis Porter spoke with Cointelegraph about the latest development earlier this week. His non-profit organization helps shape related policies by providing lawmakers and regulators with data that underscores the benefits of Bitcoin mining.
“Montana has very high wind energy potential. It is ranked fifth according to NREL. Remote wind projects struggle in states like Montana though due to the need for very long transmission lines which can get the power to market,” Porter told Cointelegraph. “Mining helps solve this issue because it can be an early buyer of that power. In general, Montana has a hard time exporting its power due to being remote. Now the state can bring customers [Bitcoin miners] to them instead.”
Porter said there are two “major factors” holding back the crypto-mining industry in the United States: “The first is the misconception that mining is bad for the grid or the environment. Mining is in fact a powerful tool for balancing the grid and cleaning up the environment.”
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The second factor hindering mining in the United States, according to the exec, is regulatory policies that apply to mining that fail to take into account some of its positive aspects. He highlighted the concept of grid balancing as an example.
“Mining thrives in states which have grid balancing programs,” he explained. “These programs pay participants to turn down their power consumption when power prices spike or there is…
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