Arkansas Passes New Bitcoin Mining Regulations

Arkansas has passed two bills, SB 78 and SB 79, to regulate Bitcoin mining, aimed at noise control, water use limitations, and prohibiting foreign ownership.
Arkansas Passes New Bitcoin Mining Regulations
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Key Takeaways

  • Arkansas introduces laws to regulate Bitcoin mining, setting environmental standards and prohibiting foreign ownership.
  • Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders supports the legislation to protect rural communities and prevent foreign ownership.
  • The bills aim to provide interim solutions until more comprehensive changes can be discussed in the next legislative session.

Arkansas, in response to the burgeoning Bitcoin mining industry within its borders, has enacted two landmark bills, SB 78 and SB 79, aimed at regulating and standardizing operations.

SB 78 focuses on noise control, water usage limitations, and the prohibition of foreign ownership, while SB 79 introduces a state licensing system, overseen by the Oil and Gas Commission under the Department of Energy and Environment.

State intervention in Bitcoin mining

The passing of these bills signifies a significant shift in the state’s approach to Bitcoin mining, addressing concerns raised after the controversial Arkansas Data Centers Act of 2023.

This earlier act had limited the regulatory powers of local governments, leading to widespread opposition, particularly from rural communities affected by the environmental and social impacts of mining operations.

Governor’s support and industry impact

Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has thrown her weight behind these measures, emphasizing the importance of protecting rural communities and preventing foreign entities, particularly those from adversarial nations like China, from gaining control over Arkansas’ Bitcoin mining sector.

Sanders’ spokesperson, Alexa Henning, confirmed the governor’s support, citing previous actions taken against Chinese-owned companies operating within the state.

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