Mississippi and Missouri state legislators have submitted bills that aim to formally safeguard the rights of citizens to mine Bitcoin and operate Bitcoin nodes.

Senator Josh Harkins (R) and Representative Jody Steverson (R) are leading the campaign in Mississippi while Phil Christofanelli (R) filed the relevant bill in Missouri. The language of each bill is taken from the Satoshi Action Fund.

In addition to the clear rights for nodes and mining, the proposals also forbid:

  • Political subdivisions of the state modifying Bitcoin miner zoning without giving miners adequate notice and setting regulations that are inconsistent with other data center laws.
  • Prohibiting energy rates that are unfairly applied to Bitcoin miners.
  • Sound laws directed at mining sites that are not consistent with other sound laws in the community.
  • Classifying the act of using nodes or miners as money transmitting.

CEO and founder of the Satoshi Action Fund Dennis Porter commented that he sees an opportunity for governments who were excluded from the tech boom to now be able to participate in the Bitcoin boom. “Mining facilities often get built in rural parts of America. We hope that Missouri and Mississippi see this potential and begin opening up their states to Bitcoin mining businesses,” he added.

In response to the possibility of hash rate being too concentrated in the U.S., Porter stated that while mining consolidation is a threat, it is significantly less when compared to node consolidation. Porter concluded that at the Satoshi Action Fund, they firmly support the expansion of the hash rate outside of North America and the U.S.

If the bills are passed, state governments may become increasingly interested in Bitcoin. Director of Policy at the Satoshi Action Fund Eric Peterson states that “even if states don’t get behind the industry they need to have a working regulatory structure for it and ensure that businesses who operate in this state can do so long term in their state.”

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