In a US first, Montana's state government is providing public funds to a local bitcoin mining firm as part of a broader effort to fuel job creation.
Announced yesterday as part of a $1.1m local job aid package, a grant of $416,000 is being awarded to Missoula County to support a bitcoin mining firm called Project Spokane. Bitcoin mining is an energy intensive process by which new transactions are added to the blockchain, while also securing the history of transactions.
The grant is drawn from a public aid program called the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Program, aimed at supporting long-term job growth. Notably, it represents the first time that a US bitcoin miner has received state funding to support its operations.
According to statements from the office of Montana Governor Steve Bullock, 65 jobs will be supported by the grant.
The funds, the state government said in a release, will be used for the "purchase of equipment, machinery, furniture and software and for wage reimbursement".
"As Montana's strong economy continues to grow, Main Street businesses in communities across the state are adding jobs and seeking a skilled workforce to fill them. These funds will help businesses plan for responsible growth and train employees for success," Governor Bullock said.
Montana State Capitol image via Shutterstock