Mississippi State Senate Passes Bill to Protect Crypto Miners

The Mississippi Digital Asset Mining Act, approved by the state Senate on February 8, 2019, brings Mississippi, which is in the United States, closer to protecting cryptocurrency miners’ rights. The house of representatives is currently considering a parallel measure.

The state Senate has approved a bill that would allow home mining of digital assets, as well the operation and management of mining firms in areas intended for industrial use. It was sponsored by Josh Harkins. Already, cryptocurrency miners can be found in Mississippi, which boasts one of the lowest residential power rates in the United States. According to the measure, “Digital asset mining has often faced regulatory obstacles at both the state and municipal levels.”

The bill also prohibits miners from imposing additional requirements than those that are locally applied to data centres; changing the zone of a mine without proper notification and an appeal opportunity; limiting noise coming from home mining above existing limits; and limiting home mining noise beyond existing limits. The Public Service Commission cannot impose discriminatory charges against mining companies. Home and business miners are exempted from the requirements for money transmitters.

The measure provides a legal definition of “virtual cash” to be used inside the state.

The Satoshi Action Fund was active in Mississippi as well as other states. Dennis Porter, chief executive of the fund, mentioned the possibility of cryptocurrency miners using abandoned oil and natural gas wells for electricity in his January presentation to the Mississippi Senate Finance Committee.

Both the house and senate bills include mentions of orphan wells. The house bill would establish a state Digital Asset Mining Council. Its members will discuss matters such as whether the wells can be used to generate electricity for mining operations over the course of the year. The Ways and Means Committee approved the passage of the bill. However, the bill has not been discussed on the floor.

The Mississippi proposal is starkly opposed to the two-year ban against cryptocurrency mining in New York, which was approved in November. It was then signed into law.

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