EU Crypto Industry Calls to Arms as Bitcoin & Ethereum Ban in Cards Again

In 2019, this mural in Paris by Pascal Boyart hid a reward in bitcoin for the primary particular person savvy sufficient to remedy the visible puzzle. Source: Twitter/@pascalboyart

France-based {hardware} pockets producer Ledger sounded an alarm a couple of potential EU-wide ban on cryptoassets which might be utilizing the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, calling individuals to contact members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and oppose the transfer.

“At the final potential second, sure events supplied amendments to MiCA [regulation on Markets in Cryptoassets] that will ban proof-of-work consensus protocols, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and different well-liked blockchains and cryptoassets in Europe, issuing an ultimatum to the remainder of Parliament: “settle for our Bitcoin ban or we’ll oppose your complete MiCA bundle”,” one of many major gamers in the crypto {industry} mentioned. 

(Ethereum, the second-largest cryptoasset by market capitalization, goals to transfer to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, which doesn’t require energy-intensive intensive mining, however critics argue it is extra centralized and fewer safe.)

The European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) will vote on MiCA on Monday, March 14.

However, in accordance to Patrick Hansen, Head of Strategy & Growth at Unstoppable Finance, a developer of a DeFi pockets, the MEPs will vote on two options and considered one of them “does not plan a ban.”

“There appears to be a really skinny majority towards the ban proper now, however [to be determined],” Hansen mentioned.

As reported earlier this month, a draft of MiCA that was first proposed by the European Commission in September 2020, was revised to take away language that proposed a ban on PoW-based cryptoassets.

However, even in the ECON votes for the ban on these cryptoassets and the European Parliament (EP) later confirms this, lengthy and complex negotiations are anticipated among the many EP, the European Commission, and the EU member states. It would possibly take years till MiCA comes into pressure.

Also, Lorenzo Vallecchi, an vitality sector-focused journalist, opined that, if the “ban” is authorized, “it mainly says PoW miners have to respect particular emission requirements, similar as for the automobile {industry}, as an illustration.”

While the shared draft additionally seemingly says that “small-scale” mining operations will likely be exempt from these requirements, “the Commission will determine what “small scale” means inside six months after the approval of the directive,” per Vallecchi.

“I simply hope the EU doesn’t shoot itself in the foot by making a hostile surroundings for PoW,” the specialist concluded.

In both case, Ledger warns that, if this ban is confirmed, then:

  • The modern and rising digital asset economic system in Europe will vanish. Without Bitcoin and Ethereum, crypto exchanges and different crypto service suppliers can’t function profitably. They will likely be pressured to shut, transfer, or block entry to Europeans. DeFi protocols depending on ETH will be unable to legally serve Europeans. Let’s be clear, this exercise gained’t cease, it’s going to merely transfer to the United States or Asia, the place it’s presently welcomed.”
  • Consumer safety will likely be harmed by a Bitcoin ban in Europe. Due to the character of digital property, even when ‘banned’ digital property will stay out there in Europe, simply not on secure and controlled EU platforms. This would current extreme client safety issues as shoppers will likely be pressured to entry overseas platforms which may be onerous to perceive and have much less (or no) regulatory oversight.”

The firm urged the European crypto neighborhood to contact their MEP and inform them:

“An outright ban of proof-of-work property will cripple the EU market, encourage circumvention of legislation, worsen client safety, and push the {industry} outdoors the EU – all with no profit to the surroundings! Please ask the ECON Committee to oppose Amendments ALT A and ALT G.”

The MEPs that suggest the ban declare that the PoW mechanism just isn’t environmentally sustainable.

“If every of us should defend a extra ecological and virtuous society, banning the PoW is a simplistic and caricatural view,” Pierre Person, Member of the National Assembly for Paris’s sixth constituency, reacted. “The concern just isn’t the vitality consumption of Bitcoin, however the origin of this vitality. It can be extra related to ban mining from fossil energies and promote gamers who flip to surplus renewable vitality to enhance the profitability of those technique of manufacturing.”

According to Person, as an alternative of defending EU residents, the MEPs are pushing for the ban that “is mortifying for our competitiveness whereas, on the similar time, President Biden has signed an act calling for the US to totally embrace this new ecosystem.”

Learn extra: 
– Bitcoin Miners Adapt Fast As EU Mulls ‘Climate-Friendly Cryptoassets’
– ‘Don’t Be Lulled’ as European Commission Mulls a Crypto KYC Trap

– A Closer Look on the Environmental Impact of Bitcoin Mining
– Bitcoin & Crypto Mining in 2022: New Locations, Technologies, and Bigger Players

– Bitcoin Mining CO2 Footprint Is Below 0.08% Of Global Total – CoinShares
– Two Texans Use Flare Gas to Net USD 4M on Bitcoin Mining, Plan USD 20M in 2022

– Bitcoin & Crypto Miners Must Take Note as Davos Chiefs Say ‘Nobody Can Hide’ from ESG Standards
– Bitcoin Mining Energy Use ‘Inconsequential,’ ‘Rapidly Becoming More Efficient’ – Saylor

– How Bitcoin Mining Might Help Nations With Domestic Energy Production
– Dominated by Institutions, Bitcoin Mining can also be Possible from Home
(Updated at 19:46 UTC with feedback from Lorenzo Vallecchi.)

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