by Lubomir Tassev
A text threatening to prohibit cryptocurrencies relying on energy-intensive proof-of-work mining has been deleted from the draft legislation aimed at regulating the European crypto space. The move comes after the controversial provision sparked objections from the crypto community.
Wording that could have banned cryptocurrencies with proof-of-work (PoW) mining, like bitcoin, is missing in the latest version of EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework. The European Parliament (EP) was expected to approve the proposal on the last day of February but the vote was postponed to address concerns raised by representatives of the crypto industry.
“The Bitcoin ban in the EU is off the table for now,” BTC Echo noted, quoting the document. The German crypto news outlet revealed that the controversial paragraph has been dropped. The text proposed by the factions of the Left, Greens, and Social Democrats would have prohibited companies from offering services for the acquisition, custody and trading of PoW-based crypto assets.
The scheduled vote was canceled on the request of Stefan Berger, the rapporteur for the legislative package, who has now confirmed BTC Echo’s report in a tweet posted late on Tuesday. He also told the publication that negotiations have resumed.
“We now want to get the MiCA through the Parliament as quickly as possible,” Berger emphasized. His statement echoes a call issued by the President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde, who last week urged the EU to swiftly adopt the regulation in order to prevent Russia from using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions imposed over its military invasion of Ukraine.
“Talks are in full swing,” assured Berger who is a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. Once the EP passes the regulatory package, its final adoption will depend on the outcome of the dialogue between the Parliament, the European Commission, and the EU member states. The executive body in Brussels will then evaluate the future implementation of the approved draft.
In the past few months, officials and regulators from several member states have called for an EU-wide ban on proof-of-work mining, pointing to its power-hungry nature. Sweden was among the first to insist on such a measure, citing bitcoin mining’s increasing use of renewable energy at the expense of climate neutrality goals in other sectors.
Do you expect the EU to soon adopt the Markets in Crypto Assets proposal? Tell us in the comments section below.
Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
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by Lubomir Tassev