This came as a shock to crypto-Europe. When the European Parliament’s Economics Committee voted on a draft regulation to ban Bitcoin and Co. trading, all red flags went off. Because the amendment that the Greens, the SPD and the Left had introduced during the final vote had a real chance of being approved. 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 involved a de facto ban on Bitcoin after 2025. So it was a thriller until the end – we reported closely.
But the subject is still hot. As previously unknown documents first published by netzpolitik.org show, there are also voices within the European Commission that share the position of the PoW ban bloc. For example, the 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 Proof-of-Stake/Coin and therefore, unlike Bitcoin, uses technology that is not a thorn in the side of EU regulators. The document says:
[Es liegt nahe]that one could also migrate BTC from PoW to PoS. If Ethereum is able to swing, we could legitimately ask BTC to do the same.
It is no longer possible to reconstruct who actually made the statement. The EU redacted names in its response to the freedom of information request. But: A ban on proof of work is therefore also in the interest of certain EU officials.
The Swedish position had been known for a long time
Alone, what does it mean now? The answer is relatively clear. The documents unearthed are old. As postal traffic shows, the talks between officials most likely took place in November 2021. In early November 2021, Sweden’s financial regulator issued a letter calling for a ban on “energy-intensive mining”. The Swedish position had therefore been known for a long time.
The documents actually show that there are European Commission officials who would support a PoW or mining ban in Europe. However, these are individual opinions and not a committee position. The initial MiCA regulation proposal was filed by the Commission. It should be noted that this did not contain a ban on BTC trading, but was later supplemented by the ECON commission.
Bitcoin ban is not compatible with the majority
Even in the hypothetical case that the European Parliament had voted in favor of the bill containing the de facto ban on prisoners of war, its implementation would have been extremely unlikely. Finally, the draft still has to go through the trilogue of the Council of Europe, the Commission and the Parliament, and such a draft cannot obtain a majority either in the Council or in the Commission.
Green economic politician and Member of the European Parliament Rasmus Andresen told BTC-ECHO: “We Greens will continue to push for clear criteria instead of mere declarations of intent. The last word has yet to be spoken.”
In view of the facts, however, it must be said: Yes, when it comes to the prohibition of proof of work in Europe, the last word has in fact been spoken. It won’t come.
By the way: In issue 58 of BTC-ECHO magazine, we take a detailed look at the mystery surrounding the European Bitcoin ban.
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