EU drops Bitcoin ban

A section of a pending bill designed to ban the bitcoin (BTC) has been scrapped by European Union (EU) lawmakers.

The bill had the potential to deem crypto services illegal when dealing in coins based on proof of work: a mechanism that is used to “mine” new currencies, one that BTC and ethereum use to secure their networks.

The European Parliament was presented with the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill by an organisation led by Stefan Berger.

The vote was tabled for February 28, but was delayed after several objections toward the bill by members of parliament disagreeing with a paragraph regarding proof of work.

Berger has confirmed that paragraph 61 (9c) has been removed completely from the bill with no plans yet for a rescheduled vote.

Cryptocurrency adoption in Europe could potentially be reshaped by MiCA. As suggested in September 2020, MiCA would need the European Central Bank to serve as a regulatory framework for crypto across the EU, establishing “uniform rules for crypto-asset service providers and issuers at EU level”, an act the US and other nations have yet been able to create.

One passage in the bill caught the eye of crypto users. It stated that by 2025, no crypto assets could be created, sold, or traded within the EU if they used “environmentally unsustainable consensus mechanisms”. Crypto assets would have to meet “minimum environmental sustainability standards” to avoid a ban.

Those against the bill argued that it would make it untenable for custodians to hold proof of work coins for clients, ending up in a de facto ban on BTC and ethereuem mining in Europe.

Berger stated: “Individual passages of the draft report can be misinterpreted and understood as a POW ban”.

Europe has been struggling to meet the climate standards of its Paris agreement. Last year, Finanspektionen, the Swedish financial regulator suggested a ban on mining BTC and other proof of work coins with the view that the energy expenses were high and not worth the benefits.

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Updated: 03/03/2022 — 16:00