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Bill seeking incentives for cryptocurrency mining sees bipartisan support

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Oklahoma Sen. John Montgomery speaks on the state Senate floor Tuesday, March 22

A piece of legislation exempting cryptocurrency mining in the state from sales tax on electricity and other items was discussed in the state Senate Tuesday.

Author John Montgomery of Lawton said cryptocurrency is already being mined in Oklahoma.

“There are a number of operations that have started to operate in our state and are seeking to grow,” said Montgomery. “These investments are well into the tens of millions. These are not just mom and pop shops kind of opening up.”

The so-called mining of cryptocurrency involves the solving of complex math equations with the use of sophisticated hardware. Sen. Carri Hicks (D-Oklahoma City) noted the process uses a lot of electricity, and wondered if inviting more miners into Oklahoma would create problems with the power grid. Montgomery said no.

“Our utility companies are actually very excited about the prospect of these operations. It would allow them to expand their electrical offerings,” said Montgomery. “These data mining operations have pledged they have the capability to actually shut down in severe weather type events.”

SB 590 passed with bipartisan support, 29 to 16.