Montana Protects Right to Mine Bitcoin in a Landslide Vote
The Montana State Senate voted in favor of a bill protecting Bitcoin miners from a wide range of anti-industry action on Thursday, February 23rd. The bill also serves to limit the ability of local governments to crack down on miners.
Montana Senates Votes in Favor Of Bill Protecting Bitcoin Miners
On Thursday, February 23rd, the Montana State Senate voted 37-13 in favor of a new bill intended to protect the rights of individuals to mine Bitcoin. The bill also prohibits increasing utility rates for miners and prevents the imposing of additional taxes on cryptocurrency transactions.
Additionally, the bill effectively serves to limit the ability of local governments to crack down on Bitcoin miners. A non-profit advocacy group called the Satoshi Action Fund primarily aimed at educating lawmakers on Bitcoin helped draft the bill passed today. Bitcoin miners have been facing increased pressure from multiple sides over the previous months.
Both government and non-government organizations have been targeting them for the extensive energy needs of their operations with a report from last July estimating that cryptocurrency miners in the US use as much electricity as the city of Houston. Furthermore, the decrease in prices throughout the “crypto winter” combined with the heightened costs due to increased inflation has caused unprecedented hardship even to the largest Bitcoin miners.
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Are Legislators Warming Up On Crypto?
Considering that recent months saw a regulatory onslaught led by SEC’s Gary Gensler in the United States, and multiple international financial organizations including the IMF discussing a ban on crypto, the current landscape may appear very hostile toward the industry. Despite these developments, the beginning of 2023 also saw several decisively cryptocurrency-friendly moves taken by legislators and regulators alike.
Shortly after the SEC revealed its $30 million settlement with Kraken, Commissioner Hester Peirce published her own scathing assessment of the action calling her agency lazy and paternalistic. Furthermore, while the White House appears content with the current hardline approach to digital assets, state legislators have proven keener on the industry.
On February 16th, lawmakers in Wyoming passed a bill aimed at protecting the private cryptocurrency keys of individuals. Some positive developments with regard to the industry have also come from across the Pacific. Earlier this month, Hong Kong unveiled its investment aimed at boosting web3 development—an initiative that is reportedly supported by the traditionally anti-crypto government in Beijing.
Do you think there should be a federal law protecting the right to mine Bitcoin without penalties or restrictions? Let us know in the comments below.