Arkansas has become the latest state in the United States to pass a bill seeking to regulate Bitcoin mining activity within its borders. The bill, which has been named the Arkansas Data Centers Act of 2023, will now move to the governor’s office for final approval. If passed, the legislation would create guidelines for miners and protect them from discriminatory regulations and taxes.
The bill was proposed by Senator Joshua Bryant on March 30 and quickly passed by Arkansas’ state legislators. The legislation recognizes the value of data centers to local communities and acknowledges that they create jobs and pay taxes. As such, it seeks to regulate the Bitcoin mining industry in the state.
One of the key provisions of the bill is that digital asset miners must pay applicable taxes and government fees in acceptable forms of currency. Additionally, they must 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 have the same rights as data centers. The bill outlines that Arkansas’ government should not impose different requirements for digital asset mining businesses than those that apply to data centers.
The move by Arkansas follows a similar initiative in Montana, where the state’s Senate passed a bill to protect crypto miners operating within the state. The legislation is designed to protect miners against taxes on digital assets used for payments and eliminate energy rates discriminating against home crypto miners and digital asset businesses.
In contrast, in November 2022, New York’s 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, President Joe Biden introduced a budget proposal on March 9 that could subject crypto miners in the United States to a 30% tax on electricity costs aimed at reducing mining activity.
The regulation of Bitcoin mining in the United States is gaining momentum, with individual states proposing legislation to govern the industry. The Arkansas Data Centers Act of 2023 is just the latest in a series of bills designed to create guidelines for miners and protect them from unfair treatment.