The 30% excise tax that President Joe Biden has proposed for Bitcoin miners? "That isn't going to happen," said Sen. Cynthia Lummis.
She was speaking to Chamber of Digital Commerce founder and CEO Perianne Boring during a fireside chat at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami. Boring had just brought up the possible tax and how it might affect not only Bitcoin mining, but also have unintended consequences for the country’s national security.
Lummis went on to say that “miners can mine anywhere,” adding that opportunities in this sector exist all over the world.
She said, however, that allowing Bitcoin mining to proliferate in the states is not only a matter of national security, but also an issue of energy security.
Touting that Wyoming has large mining, oil and gas industries, alongside significant amounts of solar and wind production, Lummis told the crowd at the conference that Bitcoin miners are well positioned to make use of the state's excess energy.
“Bitcoin is cleaning up the environment," she said.
According to the Wyoming Senator, however, it hasn’t been an easy mission to convince lawmakers about the benefits of Bitcoin mining.
“One of the things that is holding back our ability in Congress to legislate in this area is the fear that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are being used for criminal activities,” Lummis said, adding that there are also issues at the state level. One example, she said, is Texas’ decision to cap miners’ ability to earn energy credit.
These remarks come amid a Biden administration report at the start of May on the effects of imposing a 30% excise tax on cryptocurrency mining operations in the United States. It concluded that the tax would be in the best interest of American communities and the environment.
The so-called “Bitcoin Senator” remarked that the current infrastructure bill–which includes the Digital Asset Mining (DAME) tax–defines brokers in such a way that includes miners. If approved, that would require miners to send tax data to the IRS. That’s left the industry feeling like there’s a “complete disconnect” between it and U.S. lawmakers, said the senator on Friday.
The panel ended with Lummis urging bitcoiners to participate in groups that advocate for the world’s largest cryptocurrency as part of the U.S. economy, adding that they should contact their representatives.
André Beganski contributed to this report.