Bitcoin & Crypto Miners Set to Face Fresh EU Scrutiny After Rejected Proof-of-Work Ban
The European Union still has its sights set on bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) miners – despite rejecting a proposed rule that would have effectively banned proof-of-work (PoW) mining across the union.
Following yesterday’s vote from the EU parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee to reject the de facto BTC and ETH mining ban as part of its draft Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework, the committee has announced a new “negotiating position” on crypto regulation.”
In a press release, the committee said the position “aim[s] to boost users’ confidence and support the development of digital services and alternative payment instruments.”
For miners, this will be a wake-up call, however – and a clear message that the failure of the PoW vote was perhaps the beginning, not the end of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)’ quest to regulate mining in the bloc.
The committee wrote:
“To reduce the high carbon footprint of crypto-currencies, particularly of the mechanisms used to validate transactions, MEPs ask the Commission to present MEPs with a legislative proposal to include in the EU taxonomy (a classification system) for sustainable activities any cryptoasset mining activities that contribute substantially to climate change, by 1 January 2025.”
Although 23 members of the committee abstained from the vote on the new stance, only four voted against it, with 31 voting in favor.
The EU taxonomy is the name lawmakers have given to their vision of a sustainable finance network of the future – a classification system that comprises a list of environmentally sound economic activities.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services, and Capital Markets Union has previously told Cryptonews.com that the bloc “will work to define standards for climate-friendly cryptoassets” as part of its taxonomy strategy.
Miners would not be the only people in the crypto community affected by the new framework, however – businesses and traders could also face new regulations if the proposals are accepted by the European Commission and member states’ governments.
The MEPs also said they wanted to police “those issuing and trading cryptoassets (including asset-referenced tokens and e-money tokens),” and address issues of “transparency, disclosure, authorization, and [the] supervision of transactions.”
“Consumers,” they added, “would be better informed about risks, costs and charges” under the new proposals.
However, almost in answer to miners’ pleas not to vilify an industry that some claim is no more polluting than many others, the committee added that other IT sectors were also in their crosshairs.
The committee added:
“MEPs stress that other industries (e.g. the video games and entertainment industry, data centers) also consume energy resources that are not climate-friendly.”
The MEPs said they called for the European Commission “to work on legislation addressing these issues across different sectors.”
Also, the MEPs want the European Securities and Markets Authority to supervise the issuance of asset-referenced tokens, whereas the European Banking Authority will be in charge of supervising electronic money tokens.
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