The European Union has voted against a de-facto bitcoin mining ban. At a major event for the entire crypto industry, the Alliance’s European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) has rejected a proposal that would prohibit proof-of-work for crypto assets to meet “minimum environmental sustainability”.
As Report By Patrick Hansen, developer of Unstoppable Finance, 32 members of the European Parliament (MEP) voted against the de-facto ban on bitcoin mining, with 24 of their colleagues opposing it. As part of a voting process that seeks to define EU markets under the Crypto-Asset Regulation (MICA), the crypto industry could achieve a major victory in Europe.
Hansen, introduced by Stefan Berger, a German economist working in the EU parliament and a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said the MEPs had voted in favor of an alternative amendment. Thus, bitcoin and crypto mining will be part of a classification system that establishes which technologies meet the sustainable conditions for the environment.
Called the EU classification it seems like a good alternative to BTC mining. Nevertheless, crypto-related activity can be classified as sustainable. This could have a negative impact on the industry, but is less significant than a complete ban. Hansen Explained:
If POW is considered sustainable under the classification (most likely), mining companies will have a much harder time getting money from European investors, companies and governments who have to allocate more of their capital for green purposes.
However, crypto-based companies, such as exchange platforms and custody services, Hansen made clear, would not be affected.
European legislation that will seek regulatory clarification on cryptocurrency, also known as MiCA, will enter a period of negotiation. Once all parties agree, the bill will become law, but as Hansen puts it, companies and individuals will have half a year to adapt to the new regulations.
Bitcoin mining in Europe, ban still possible?
The European bitcoin mining sector, perhaps the largest and most affected by any possible sanctions, could still be affected. Hansen explained that opponents could try to veto the current MICA draft, which excluded crypto mining and possibly send it to the main chamber of parliament.
This could bring a few more months of uncertainty for the sector as MEPs discuss it. Hansen considers the process inefficient because it would delay regulation in the vicinity of cryptocurrencies. He added:
So much work remains to be done in the months and years ahead. But today is a big political breakthrough for Crypto in the EU.
A separate report by Peter Slagter, author of Ons geld is stuk, claims that the recent PoW vote in the EU Parliament has been driven by environmental groups. These companies want to “over-regulate” bitcoin mining because they overestimate its energy consumption.
As Slagter explains, the BTC mining industry is only leaning towards a green and sustainable energy source in the United States, with much lower costs than iron and steel industries, cement, copper, chemicals, air conditioners and other machinery. Slater Says:
PoW is the essence of Bitcoin. This enables the existence of decentralized digital assets. This enables digital deficit. This enables digital objects – meaning, for example – to have physical properties. Ban PoW and you will disable one of the best IT inventions of the last few decades.