Session sees some wins for blockchain | Regional News | thesheridanpress.com – The Sheridan Press

Please purchase a subscription to read our premium content. If you have a subscription, please log in or sign up for an account on our website to continue.
Please log in, or sign up for a new account to continue reading.
Thank you for reading! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Welcome! We hope that you enjoy our free content.
Thank you for reading! On your next view you will be asked to log in to your subscriber account or create an account and subscribepurchase a subscription to continue reading.
Thank you for reading! On your next view you will be asked to log in to your subscriber account or create an account and subscribepurchase a subscription to continue reading.
Thank you for signing in! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to continue reading.
Please purchase a subscription to continue reading.
Your current subscription does not provide access to this content.
Sorry, no promotional deals were found matching that code.
Promotional Rates were found for your code.
Sorry, an error occurred.

do not remove
Partly cloudy skies. Gusty winds during the evening. Low 24F. NW winds at 20 to 30 mph, decreasing to 10 to 15 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.
Partly cloudy skies. Gusty winds during the evening. Low 24F. NW winds at 20 to 30 mph, decreasing to 10 to 15 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.
Sunny skies. High 54F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph.

CHEYENNE — This past session of the Legislature was a mostly productive time for Wyoming’s burgeoning digital money industry.
These organizations use massive amounts of computing power — along with correspondingly large portions of electricity — to rapidly perform calculations in order to virtually mint digital currency. They scored some legislative wins at the state Capitol in this past session, which wrapped up earlier this month.
As detailed in a recent article in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, these virtual miners got some changes to state law that they say will make it even easier for them to register their operations in this state. And legislators also passed Senate File 106, the Wyoming Stable Token Act.
Industry did not get all it wanted, however.
Just this past Friday, Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed the stable coin bill. He said that the state treasurer’s office was busy with other obligations besides potentially dealing with the currency.
During the Legislature’s budget session, efforts fizzled to allow for the creation of deregulated energy zones, if a county commission successfully petitioned the Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners for one on state land. Senate File 71 died in the Senate Minerals Committee, following testimony from many stakeholders over a few days. Utilities generally opposed the bill, as did most others.
The failure of the bill doesn’t mean that the issue is dead, a wide array of stakeholders agreed in recent interviews. Crypto companies still want power, and many would ideally like to locate at least some operations in Wyoming.
The issue remains that digital currency miners contend that they need a lot more electricity to expand their operations in the state to the extent that they would like. On the other side are utilities, which often cannot deliver as much power, as quickly and at as low a cost as the virtual financiers desire.
Frustration over the failure to pass his bill was evident in comments from its backer, Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie. Speaking as the bill was voted down by all other members of the Minerals Committee who took part, he was upset that the issue was being punted to the interim legislative work session later this year.
“We have done a tremendous job over the years of wasting opportunities and not providing an appropriate regulatory framework for anybody to do anything at a large scale in the state” that is new and innovative, such as with the cryptocurrency operations, Rothfuss said last month.
“We can push the pause button. It is what we have done before” on other issues in the committee, he added. “That tends to be the end-game mantra. And a lot of the time, it comes from industry, because we are changing things in a disruptive way.”
This was seemingly acknowledged by the legislative panel’s chairman, Sen. Jim Anderson, R-Casper. In a tense exchange with Rothfuss, Anderson seemed to agree with him that even though the issue of deregulated power zones for crypto companies might come up in the interim session, it might not advance further.
Neither lawmaker responded to numerous recent requests for comment.
On April 8, the Legislature’s Management Council will meet to discuss what topics should be addressed in the interim session. Those on all sides of the issue expect that the panel will at least consider whether something like SF 71 should be a legislative topic. Many expect that the issue of electricity deregulation could come up more generally.
“There could be a larger utility discussion as a whole, and this will be part of it,” said Shawn Taylor, executive director of the Wyoming Rural Electric Association.
Utility officials, speaking in recent days, said they’re interested in entering into contracts with crypto miners. It’s just that there seem to be differences in the expectations of this technology industry in how quickly and at what cost power can be provided, and the reality of needing to carefully connect those operations to the grid in a way that does not create financial shockwaves if these new companies later change plans.
Rural electric cooperatives, which cover most of the state’s geographic territory and serve about a quarter of Wyoming’s electric customers, want to reach commercial agreements with crypto firms. “We recognize the advantage if we can make it work” that virtual currency mining would bring to the electric grid and other customers of these member-owned co-ops, said Taylor.
A change in the law is necessary to get virtual currency miners the power they want, said Sean Murphy, a local digital mining expert. The situation is “something that is not going to change unless the law changes,” said Murphy.
Murphy’s cryptocurrency consulting company has some clients who are interested in potentially moving to Wyoming. It “has been frustrating for companies that want to come to Wyoming and just can’t get the power,” he said. He said that Black Hills Energy stands out for its request for proposals to solicit expressions of interest from such miners.
During the hearing, and in follow-up communications with the WTE, utilities, including Black Hills, noted that they have sought requests, such as through RFPs. Some deals are in the works.

source