The European Union has voted against a proposed ban on proof-of-work (Pow) cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee voted on a final draft of the Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) framework, which includes a provision requiring crypto assets traded or produced within the union to meet “subject to minimum environmental sustainability standards.”
The draft proposal on the PoW ban received heavy backlash from the cryptocurrency community. On the union’s concern over crypto’s energy use, the crypto community is urging the union to be open to innovative technology that can help lessen the carbon imprint rather than outright prohibiting it.
According to the final tally, 30 people voted against the de facto PoW ban, while only 23 voted in favor, and there were six abstentions.
Later, Stefan Berger, a member of the European Parliament’s Economics Committee, announced that the MiCA has been approved by the European Parliament committee following the collapse of the PoW ban.
31 votes were in favor with 23 abstentions and 4 votes were against the whole bill. This is the final vote on the entire MiCA draft. The votes on the PoW ban bill is separate from this.
Another milder version of MiCA, which is now making its way through EU institutions, contains no explicit or implied prohibition on PoW mining.
Instead, it instructs the European Commission to submit a legislative proposal by January 1, 2025, “with a view to including in the EU sustainable finance taxonomy any crypto-asset mining activities.”
MiCA is responsible for the regulation of financial instruments and financial service providers. So It certainly makes more sense to address any concerns about mining technology’s sustainability issue separately.
Before becoming law, this version of MiCA must be approved by the EU’s executive arm, as well as EU member states and the full European Parliament.