EU Parliament Backtracks Ban On Bitcoin’s Proof-Of-Work

  • The EU ECON committee voted on Monday to remove a section relating to a de-facto ban on bitcoin mining in the continent.
  • The provision was part of the MiCA rules, the EU draft legislation to regulate Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies that passed on Monday’s voting session.
  • An alternative amendment on PoW passed, adding bitcoin mining to the EU sustainable finance taxonomy.

The European Union (EU) has dropped its plans to impose a de-facto ban on bitcoin mining and related activities that could allegedly hurt the region’s efforts to promote sustainable technologies, according to multiple reports.

The proposed de-facto ban on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism was part of a major draft bill in the EU, the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation, introduced in 2020 to tighten regulation around Bitcoin and cryptocurrency by establishing a more detailed and streamlined regulatory framework across the continent.

“It seems that reason and common sense prevailed,” Paris MEP Pierre Person tweeted. “We must continue to defend the principle of technological neutrality. Europe must remain in the global competition!”

The EU Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) voted against the PoW ban on Monday, while passing a new amendment that adds cryptocurrency mining to the EU sustainable finance taxonomy.

On the other hand, the broader MiCA legislation was approved with 31 votes to 4 and 23 abstentions, as per an official press release by the European Parliament. In addition to requiring a legislative proposal to include any cryptocurrency mining activities “that contribute substantially to climate change” in the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities, MiCA defines regulatory agencies to oversee the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets, “supports market integrity and financial stability,” and “includes measures against market manipulation and to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities,” per the release.

“By adopting the MiCA report, the European Parliament has paved the way for an innovation-friendly crypto-regulation that can set standards worldwide,” lead MEP, Stefan Berger, said in the release.

UPDATE (Mar 14, 2022 – 9:00 pm UTC): Adds information from official European Parliament press release throughout.

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