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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Will the Bitcoin ban be rolled back?

Research shows that there are also voices in the EU Commission calling for a proof-of-work ban for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. But the drops should have sucked.

It came as a shock to crypto-Europe. When the Economic Committee of the European Parliament voted on a draft regulation that included a ban on trading in Bitcoin and Co., all the alarm signals went off. Because the amendment that the Greens, SPD and Left had introduced in the final vote had a real chance of approval. Ultimately, however, the ban version did not prevail; By a vote of 30 to 23, the ECON committee rejected a MiCA version that would have implied a de facto Bitcoin ban after 2025. So it was a thriller until the end – we reported up close .

But the topic is still hot. As previously unknown documents first published by netzpolitik.org show , there are also voices in the EU Commission that share the position of the PoW ban block. For example, minutes of a meeting between EU officials and Swedish tax officials show that there is no need to “protect the Bitcoin community”. After all, other coins such as Solana are also viable. Spicy: Solana is a proof-of-stake coin and thus – unlike Bitcoin – uses a technology that is not a thorn in the side of the EU regulators. The document states:

[It stands to reason] that one could also migrate BTC from PoW to PoS. If Ethereum is able to switch, we could legitimately ask BTC to do the same.

It is no longer possible to reconstruct who actually made the statement. The EU has redacted names in its response to the freedom of information request. But: A proof-of-work ban is therefore also in the interest of certain EU officials.

Swedish position was known for a long time

Alone, what does that mean now? The answer is relatively clear. The documents unearthed are old. As the mail traffic shows, the talks between the officials most likely took place in November 2021. At the beginning of November 2021, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority published a letter calling for a ban on “energy-intensive mining” . So the Swedish position was known for a long time.

The documents actually show that there are officials in the EU Commission who would support a PoW or mining ban in Europe. However, these are individual opinions and not a commission position. The original MiCA regulation proposal was tabled by the Commission. It should be noted that this did not contain a BTC trading ban, but was subsequently supplemented by the ECON committee.

Bitcoin ban not majority capable

Even in the hypothetical case that the EU Parliament had voted in favor of the bill containing the de facto ban on PoW, its implementation would have been extremely unlikely. Finally, the draft still has to go through the trialogue of the Council of Europe, the Commission and Parliament, and such a project cannot win a majority either in the Council or in the Commission.

The Green economic politician and member of the European Parliament Rasmus Andresen said to BTC-ECHO: “We Greens will continue to advocate clear criteria instead of mere declarations of intent. The last word has not yet been spoken.”

With a view to the facts, however, one has to state: Yes, with regard to a proof-of-work ban in Europe, the last word has actually been spoken. It won’t come.

By the way: In issue 58 of the BTC-ECHO magazine, we look at the mystery surrounding the European Bitcoin ban in great detail.

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