Montana is on the verge of passing a bill that will protect citizens’ “right to mine” cryptocurrencies in the state.
The bill — SB 178 — passed through the state’s House of Representatives on April 12 with 64 votes in favor and 35 against. The bill was sent back to the Senate following House voting and is now pending the Governor’s approval before it is signed into law.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte is part of the Republican party and is unlikely to veto the bill, meaning it’s only a matter of time before it becomes law.
State Bill 178 was introduced in November 2022 by state Senator Daniel Zolnikov — who is also a member of the Republican party. The Montana Senate approved the bill on February 27.
The bill aims to revise and establish laws around mining and cryptocurrencies.
Under the bill, every citizen has the right to mine cryptocurrency at home and every company has the right to set up a commercial mining operation.
Additionally, it prohibits the government from imposing “discriminatory” utility rates on miners or restricting mining operations by utilizing zoning or environmental laws.
Discriminatory rates are defined as being substantially higher than what other industrial uses of electricity are charged in similar geographical areas.
Crypto payments untaxable
The bill also prohibits the government from imposing taxes on cryptocurrencies used as a method of payment. According to the bill:
“A state or local government entity may not charge an additional tax, withholding, assessment, or charge on the value of digital assets when used as a method of payment.”
It establishes digital assets as private property and gives them the same protection under U.S. constitutional law.
Digital assets include cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and NFTs, according to the bill.
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