A bill seeking to regulate Bitcoin mining activity in Arkansas has passed in the state’s House of Representatives and Senate. The bill will now move to the governor’s office for approval.
According to the bill, the Arkansas Data Centers Act of 2023 intends to regulate the Bitcoin mining industry in the American state, creating guidelines for miners and protecting them from discriminatory regulations and taxes.
Arkansas’ state legislators quickly passed the bill after it was proposed on March 30 by Senator Joshua Bryant. The document recognizes “that data centers create jobs, pay taxes, and provide general economic value to local communities.“
As per the approved bill, a digital asset miner is required “to pay applicable taxes and government fees in acceptable forms of currency and operate in a manner that causes no stress on an electric public utility’s generation capabilities or transmission network.“
Under the legislation, crypto miners will also have the same rights as data centers. The bill outlines that Arkansas’ government should not “impose a different requirement for a digital asset mining business than is applicable to any requirement for a data center.“
Arkansas’ move follows a similar initiative in the state of Montana. In late March, the Montana Senate passed a bill to protect crypto miners operating within the state. The bill intends to protect miners against taxes on digital assets used for payments, and to eliminate energy rates discriminating against home crypto miners and digital assets businesses.
The state of Texas went in a different direction. Its Senate Committee on Business and Commerce passed legislation on April 4 that would essentially remove incentives for miners operating under the state’s crypto-friendly regulatory environment, Cointelegraph reported.
An even more decisive move came from New York in November 2022 when Governor Kathy Hochul signed the proof-of-work mining moratorium into law, banning crypto-mining activities in the state for two years. On a federal level, crypto miners in the United States could eventually be subject to a 30% tax on electricity costs under a budget proposal introduced on March 9 by President Joe Biden aimed to “reduce mining activity.”