Kentucky poised to approve tax, energy incentives for cryptocurrency mining

Public records indicate that lawmakers in Kentucky appear set to approve two proposed laws aimed at incentivizing cryptocurrency mining activity in the U.S. state.

There are two bills moving through the state's legislature, known as the General Assembly. One is centered around tax incentives and, as noted by local media, is part of a broader push to draw technology businesses into Kentucky. The other measure would, if approved, extend the state's clean-energy incentives to cryptocurrency miners, provided that they meet a particular investment threshold of $1 million.

Voting records show that the Kentucky House of Representatives passed the energy bill Friday in a 74-19 vote after clearing the Senate on March 3. It's unclear at this time the extent of differences between the two chambers' bills and whether they'll need to be reconciled before final passage.

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The legislature's tax-related bill passed the House of Representatives on March 3, with 84 voting to approve and 16 members not voting. According to the General Assembly's website, the tax bill was "posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Monday, March 15, 2021" in the House on Friday. A proposed amendment would sunset the tax exemption for miners in mid-2030. 

The developments come as the U.S. bitcoin mining ecosystem continues to grow, drawing significant interest from institutional investors. Despite high demand for hardware, such investors are betting that the U.S. will be competitive with China as a hub for mining operations. 

A mining pool operated by Digital Currency Group subsidiary Foundry opened to the public on Thursday.