The Arkansas House of Representatives has taken a step towards potentially restricting cryptocurrency mining operations within the state. On Wednesday, lawmakers approved two separate bills that could significantly impact the industry.

These bills don’t immediately become law, but they signal a shift in the state’s stance on crypto mining. Previously, a 2023 law (Act 851) aimed to attract crypto mining businesses by limiting local control over regulations. However, concerns have arisen regarding noise, energy consumption, and potential foreign influence on these operations.

The two newly approved bills represent different approaches to regulating crypto mining:

  • House Resolution 1015 (HR1015): This bill takes a more comprehensive approach. It proposes a complete repeal of Act 851, returning the power to regulate crypto mining to local authorities. HR1015 also includes provisions for stricter noise ordinances, bans ownership by certain foreign entities, and establishes permitting requirements for new and existing crypto-mining facilities.
  • House Resolution 1016 (HR1016): This bill focuses on transparency. It mandates that crypto mining businesses file a detailed notice with the Arkansas Public Service Commission and relevant local governments at least six months before acquiring land for their operations.

The passage of these bills reflects growing anxieties surrounding crypto mining’s impact on Arkansas communities. Proponents of the bills argue for stricter regulations to ensure responsible operations that minimize noise pollution and energy consumption. Opponents, however, express concerns that these restrictions could stifle economic growth and innovation in the state’s tech sector.

The future of crypto mining regulation in Arkansas remains uncertain. The approved bills will undergo further discussion and potentially be amended before a final vote. It’s important to note that even if passed, these bills would need to be reconciled with the Senate and signed by the Governor to become law.

This development is likely to be closely monitored by the crypto mining industry, local communities in Arkansas, and those interested in the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency regulation across the United States.