Crypto mining bills potentially an additional focus of fiscal session in Arkansas | KLRT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As Arkansas legislators head into fiscal session Wednesday, some have their sights set on even more than the budget. The current crypto mining law in the state has become a focus for many, including protections for possible foreign ownership over sites in Arkansas.

The current crypto mining law allows sites to go in and local governments have control over them as they’re going up, but not once they’re already established. Since that point, some sites have gone under investigation in Arkansas for foreign ownership.

Sen. Joshua Bryant (R-Rogers), who first filed the bill, said he’s looking to change it now to lower the percentage of ownership those companies can have over properties.

“If a crypto mining facility business is owned by a foreign adversarial nation, which is identified by federal code, up to 15% they can own,” Bryant said referring to the change he would like to make to the law. “Anything over 15% they have to divest it into a non-foreign adversarial nation or into an American owned.”

Bryant said his changes would also allow the state to regulate the noise, which has been another big concern for people living near the sites.

Sen. Bryan King (R-Green Forrest) is also planning on filing at least five bills in the fiscal session, all related to bitcoin or digital currency.

“I think the biggest one is the fees,” King said. “There would be fees on top of these crypto mines that will fund different agencies to monitor them to know are you who you say you are and are you going to do what you say you’re going to do?”

King and Bryant will both need 2/3 support from the legislature in order for their bills to be taken up for consideration in the fiscal session, but both said they feel optimistic they can do this.

FOX 16 News will be following the fiscal session starting Wednesday and will provide updates as they come.

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