Arkansas Senate and House approve protections for Bitcoin mining rights

The Arkansas Data Centers Act is currently awaiting sanction from the governor. It grants crypto producers the same privileges as data centers in the state.

The Arkansas House and Senate have approved a bill regulating Bitcoin mining activity in the state. The bill will now be sent to the office of the governor for approval.

The Arkansas Data Centers Act of 2023 aims to regulate the Bitcoin mining industry in Arkansas by establishing guidelines for miners and shielding them from discriminatory regulations and taxation.

Following its introduction on March 30 by Senator Joshua Bryant, the Arkansas legislature swiftly enacted the measure. The document acknowledges that “data centres create jobs, pay taxes, and contribute to the economic well-being of local communities.”

A digital asset miner is required by the approved bill to “pay applicable taxes and government fees in acceptable forms of currency and operate in a manner that does not strain the generation capabilities or transmission network of an electric public utility.”

According to the law, cryptocurrency producers will have the same privileges as data centers. The measure stipulates that the government of Arkansas should not “impose different requirements for a digital asset mining business than for a data centre.”

The action of Arkansas follows a similar initiative in Montana. The Montana Senate enacted a bill to defend cryptocurrency miners operating within the state at the end of March. The bill aims to defend miners from taxes on digital assets used for payments and to eradicate discriminatory energy rates against residential cryptocurrency miners and digital asset enterprises.

The state of Texas has taken a distinct path. Cointelegraph reported that on April 4, the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce passed legislation that would eliminate incentives for miners operating under the state’s crypto-friendly regulatory environment.

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York signed the proof-of-work mining moratorium into law in November 2022, effectively prohibiting crypto-mining activities in the state for two years. A budget proposal introduced by President Joe Biden on March 9 aimed to “reduce mining activity” could ultimately subject cryptocurrency miners in the United States to a 30% levy on electricity costs at the federal level.

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