In April 2023, Arkansas made history by becoming the first state to pass a Bitcoin ‘Right to Mine’ bill in the House and Senate. However, Arkansas’ “Right to Mine” law is facing growing opposition as it eases regulations on commercial crypto mining.
Reports have suggested that the easing of restrictions on commercial cryptocurrency mining has raised concerns. That’s because after the new law was passed, large electricity-powered crypto-miners entered Arkansas.
The legislation has sparked controversy by limiting the authority of city governments to regulate crypto mining. This has effectively taken away their ability to enforce local ordinances regarding such operations.
During the 2023 legislative session, Arkansas Sen. Bryan King (R) of District 28 expressed criticism of the bill’s introduction. And Senator King is reportedly planning to introduce another bill aimed at repealing the controversial “Right to Mine” law.
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Reports indicate that residents have raised numerous concerns, including excessive noise, significant use of the power grid and the fact that Green Digital LLC., the company behind proposed crypto mining in their towns, is a partial subsidiary of owned by the Chinese Communist Party.
Several cities have rejected proposed crypto mining facilities
Arkansas Senator Bryan King has taken proactive steps by drafting a bill aimed at repealing the controversial crypto mining law. One of the main concerns is the strain on the local power grid caused by the electricity-intensive nature of crypto-mining operations.
Reports have emerged that some areas are already facing outage or potential outage warnings. This is due to the increase in energy consumption from these facilities.
At the moment, local reports indicate that Arkansas is home to approximately 10 crypto mines. Vilonia and Harrison, two cities in Arkansas, have blocked efforts to establish proposed crypto mining facilities within their respective city limits.
Senator Bryan King has further asserted that crypto mining does not provide economic benefits to the communities where they establish their operations.
He specifically pointed out that facilities like those proposed by Green Digital employ only a limited number of people. As such, mines fail to provide significant employment opportunities or significant economic growth in the areas where they operate.
Advocacy for the Mining Bill
Senator Joshua Bryant (R) who sponsored the bill explained and supported that the bill aims to protect property rights and stop unfair treatment of crypto entrepreneurs.
He said crypto miners are people living in Arkansas who invest money in the state’s infrastructure, help keep utility costs stable and boost the local economy.
Bryant points out that if crypto-mining facilities are treated similarly to other data centers, the law allows local governments to create their own regulations.
He further clarified that with respect to noise ordinances, local governments are free to regulate commercial establishments as necessary.
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However, the bill specifically focuses on home mining operations. In this regard, he suggests following existing federal and state nuisance laws. It also includes the US EPA Noise Act or the standard statutory language described in the Nuisance Act.
However, Arkansas’ Right to Mine law will go into effect next month.
Featured image by UnSplash, graphic by TradingView.com