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EU Delays Crypto Regulations Vote During Bitcoin Energy Debate

The Crypto Regulations vote has been delayed by the EU due to an ongoing debate regarding proof-of-work crypto mining.

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Photo by f9photos / Envato

The vote on MiCA or, Markets in Crypto Assets Directive have been delayed by the European Parliament because of the fears that it’d be “misinterpreted as a de facto Bitcoin ban” over questions that surround the industry’s energy demands.

MiCA was initially slated for a vote on February 28th, 2022, and was a much-anticipated market regulatory act with the aim of targeting the crypto industry. Unfortunately, Stefan Berger, the chairman of the Economics Committee took to Twitter to announce the cancellation of the vote on Twitter.

The chief reason for this decision can amount to late-stage changes to the future status of proof-of-work (or PoW) blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. These changes were reportedly interpreted by some as a potential ban on these blockchains.

Berger also tweeted about the discussions around MiCA, citing that they indicated “individual passages of the draft report can be misinterpreted & understood as a POW ban.” Adding to that he said it would be “fatal” if the EU Parliament “sent the wrong signal with a vote under these circumstances.”

Of course, this is hardly the first time Europe has wrestled with the environmental impact of the proof-of-work mining of cryptocurrency.

Sweden’s financial services regulator Finanspektionen called for a ban on energy-intensive mining just last year.

The regulatory in fact did go on to make a statement regarding proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining and how it was a threat to Sweden’s ability to meet their Paris Agreement obligations.

“Sweden needs the renewable energy targeted by crypto assets by crypto-asset producers for the climate transition of our essential services, and increased use by miners threatens our ability to meet the Paris Agreement,” said the regulator at the time.

“Energy-intensive mining of crypto assets should therefore be prohibited.” Now, this claim was shared by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and came out around the time of last year’s COP26 conference in Scotland.

Furthermore, the European Securities and Markets Authority also called for a ban on proof-of-work mining in January as well.

The vice-chair of ESMA Erik Thedeen, spoke with the Financial Times, telling them that Bitcoin mining had become a “national issue” within Sweden. Thedeen is also the director-general of Finansinspektionen

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