Montana Senate Passes Bill Protecting Crypto Miners

The Montana State Senate passed a bill Thursday
protecting crypto miners from a range of possible actions against the industry.

The proposed law passed 37-13 in the Senate and next will go the state's House for its approval. The bill protects at-home mining, prevents discriminatory utility rates for miners and stipulates that crypto used as payment will not be subject to additional taxes.

The legislation also takes power from local governments, preventing them from moving against at-home mining or retroactively using zoning laws to shut down active operations.

The new law might possibly upend a 2020 Missoula County zoning ordinance that required all bitcoin miners to buy or build renewable energy assets equivalent to their energy consumption. Missoula county representatives did not respond to CoinDesk's request for comment as of press time.

Bitcoin miners have been targeted by environmentalists and U.S. lawmakers for their potential impacts on carbon neutrality goals as well as electrical grids. In the past few months, bitcoin miners have been fighting back; as many as five bills are going through state legislatures to protect the industry.

Bitcoin advocacy group Satoshi Action Fund helped draft the language in the bill.

Read more: Democratic Lawmakers Look to Compel Crypto Miners to Disclose Energy and Emissions Data