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In Nebraska, a new bill has been introduced with the potential to significantly alter the state’s approach to cryptocurrency and Bitcoin mining, encompassing aspects of licensing and ownership. State Senator Eliot Bostar put forward the bill on January 5, aiming to implement the Blockchain Basics Act within Nebraska. This move is set to establish new industry benchmarks in the realm of cryptocurrency, amid broader regulatory developments.

Commentators suggest that this legislation will help establish a legal framework that acknowledges and supports the inherent rights of Bitcoin holders, thereby fostering a robust ecosystem and preserving individual liberties.

One key aspect of the bill is its emphasis on the right to self-custody of assets, a step seen as vital to maintaining the decentralized essence of the cryptocurrency market. This provision gains added significance against the backdrop of growing institutional interest in Bitcoin, especially with the looming possibility of a spot ETF being approved.

Despite the potential benefits, some voices in the industry, like Dennis Kelleher, CEO of Better Markets, have expressed reservations about the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Kelleher has warned of the risks of investor scams and market manipulation, arguing that the cryptocurrency industry still requires formal U.S. government validation for its products.

“We submit this supplemental comment letter (which Better Markets very rarely does) because it would be a grave if not historic mistake almost certainly leading to massive investor harm if the SEC approves the pending rule change.”

The Nebraska bill not only reaffirms the rights of Bitcoin users in the state but also seeks to shield them from adverse digital asset taxes and establish a fair playing field for the technology.

Of particular interest in the bill is its approach to Bitcoin mining. The proposed legislation allows for Bitcoin mining and related activities in residential properties without the need for a license, differentiating them from crypto businesses that would be required to operate in industrial zones. The bill also considers community noise regulations.

This provision to run a node aims to bolster the decentralized nature of Bitcoin, encouraging community involvement. Additionally, the bill seeks to dismantle political hurdles impeding Bitcoin’s seamless integration into everyday financial services.

Notably, the Blockchain Basics Act does not classify staking as a security within the state and proposes to eliminate regulations on sound pollution limits. This development has been hailed as a significant step towards market-friendly regulation in the U.S., particularly in light of the past year’s regulatory uncertainties and ongoing legal battles between authorities and industry leaders.