European Union lawmakers have removed a controversial paragraph that would have made all proof-of-work (PoW) based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) illegal.
The framework for crypto-asset markets (MiCA), led by the Rapporteur for Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) – Stefan Berger – was originally scheduled for February 28. However, due to vehement opposition to the wording of the passage, which could be misinterpreted as a de facto bitcoin ban, the vote was postponed last week.
According to the new report by a German news agency, paragraph 61 (9c) has been deleted. The vote on the highly anticipated market regulation law targeting the crypto industry has not yet been postponed. For further clarification on this development, Berger tweeted:
“The paragraph is no longer in the text. The report has yet to be voted on in committee. In this vote, we will see where the majorities lie. The decision has not yet been made #MiCA.”
The passage in question states that no cryptocurrencies may be created, sold, or traded in the region of the European Union that does not follow environmentally sustainable consensus mechanisms.
It also stated that all assets must meet minimum standards for environmental sustainability. If the latest version of the draft receives the required number of votes, it will be discussed in the trilogy, which includes the European Commission and the Council, in addition to the Parliament.
Europe’s Environment Concerns
Despite the recent move, global cryptocurrency regulators continue to wrestle with growing concerns about the environmental impact of PoW-based assets.
The situation is similar in Europe. In 2021, there have been debates and discussions about crypto mining like never before. In this context, several industry players have advocated for less energy-intensive PoS networks, while others have refrained from adopting Bitcoin and other PoW blockchain-based crypto assets.
Last year, Swedish financial regulator Finansinspektionen (FI) said cryptocurrencies pose a threat to climate change and that energy-intensive mining should be banned. The regulator also pointed out that Sweden needs renewable energy because mining cryptocurrencies threaten its ability to meet the Paris Agreement.
Recently, Erik Thedéen, vice chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), also called for a ban on PoW crypto mining due to the industry’s high energy demand.