The American state of Mississippi is one step closer to protecting the rights of cryptocurrency miners after the state Senate passed the Mississippi Digital Asset Mining Act on Feb. 8. There is a companion bill under consideration in the state House of Representatives.
The Senate bill, authored by state Sen. Josh Harkins, legalizes home digital asset mining and the operation of mining businesses in areas zoned for industrial use. There are already crypto miners operating in Mississippi, which has some of the lowest electricity rates in the country. However, the bill claimed:
“Digital asset mining has often faced regulatory challenges at the state and local level.”
In addition, the bill prohibits limiting noise from home mining beyond existing limits, imposing requirements on miners beyond those locally applied to data centers, or changing the zoning of a mining center without proper notification and an opportunity to appeal.
It also prohibits the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities, from imposing discriminatory rates on mining businesses and exempts home and business miners from money transmitter status.
The bill further provides the state with a legal definition of “virtual currency.”
Related: Bitcoin price is up, but BTC mining stocks could remain vulnerable throughout 2023
Mississippi is one of the states where the Satoshi Action Fund has been active, with CEO Dennis Porter speaking at a meeting of the Mississippi Senate Finance Committee in January, where he mentioned the potential for crypto miners to use orphaned oil and gas wells as a power source.
₿: Mississippi Senate passes historic bill protecting #bitcoin mining— Documenting ₿itcoin (@DocumentingBTC) February 9, 2023
“It shall be legal in the State of Mississippi to run a node for the purpose of home digital asset mining” and “operate a digital asset mining business” pic.twitter.com/AiVbw9AtIi
Both the Senate and House bills mention orphan wells. The House bill would set up a state Digital Asset Mining Council that would consider the use of the wells as a mining power source and other issues throughout the year. The House bill has passed the Ways and Means Committee but has not been debated on the House floor.
Mississippi’s legislation contrasts with the two-year moratorium on crypto mining passed in New York and signed into law in November.