Oklahoma’s new crypto law protects miners, sets blockchain legal framework

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has signed into law a bill that establishes a legal framework for blockchain technology and digital assets. 

The new legislation prohibits Oklahoma’s government from imposing restrictions on the use of digital assets for legal purchases or self-custody. It also determines that digital assets used as payment cannot be subject to any additional taxes or charges over other methods.

The bill — introduced in January by state Rep. Brian Hill — legitimizes home digital asset mining in residential zones under local noise ordinances. In addition, businesses mining digital assets in industrial zones are allowed to operate without specific noise limits other than those already in place.

“House Bill 3594 lays a foundation for protecting individuals’ rights to their digital assets,” Hill said on May 9, following the bill’s passage. The new legislation will come into effect on Nov. 1, 2024.

Furthermore, miners are treated as data centers under the bill. The legislation outlines that political subdivisions cannot impose requirements on digital asset mining companies that are not also applicable to data centers.

Another noteworthy point is that the bill protects individuals and businesses engaged in crypto mining or node operation from liabilities related solely to validating transactions:

“Operating a node or series of nodes on a blockchain protocol shall not require an individual or business to obtain a money transmitter license under Section 1513 of Title 6 of the Oklahoma Statutes.”

In addition, the legislation establishes that no money transmitter license is required for engaging in digital asset mining, operating nodes, or participating in blockchain staking.

Another safeguard introduced in the legislation is the prohibition of discriminatory electricity rates targeted at crypto-mining businesses to ensure that miners have access to energy at comparable rates to other industries.

Oklahoma is among the first U.S. states to enact crypto legislation. The U.S. Congress has been discussing several bills covering cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, including legislation setting up a regulatory framework for stablecoins.

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