European Union (EU) officers mentioned banning Bitcoin buying and selling throughout a debate on a proposal to ban Proof of Work mining in keeping with paperwork obtained via a freedom of knowledge request.
According to a report, printed by German digital tradition group Netzpolitik, officers from the EU went so far as suggesting that an all out ban on buying and selling Bitcoin (BTC) ought to be enforced with a purpose to curb its total vitality consumption.
The most worrying feedback from the crypto neighborhood’s perspective got here from a doc that detailed the minutes from an EU assembly with Sweden’s monetary supervisor and an environmental safety company during which officers recommended that regulators strain the Bitcoin neighborhood to modify to a Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism, as an alternative of its present energy-intensive Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism. A unidentified official within the dialogue mentioned:
“Ethereum began shifting [to PoS] due to its neighborhood…if Ethereum is ready to shift, we may legitimately request the identical from BTC. We have to ‘defend’ different crypto cash which are sustainable. We don’t see [the] have to ‘defend’ the Bitcoin neighborhood.”
Another unnamed speaker recommended that the EU may fairly place a blanket ban on buying and selling any crypto property that used a PoW algorithm.
The reply to this query was redacted within the doc to guard the “ongoing decision-making course of,” nevertheless it brings consideration to the truth that the EU was critically contemplating such dramatic regulation.
When discussing the potential impact of an outright Bitcoin ban on traders and retail merchants the officers have been largely unconcerned, claiming that every one Bitcoin traders are absolutely conscious of draw back danger.
“Participants in BTC are absolutely conscious of the volatility of the foreign money/funding danger. [We] don’t want extra safety measures.”
This report comes as Bitcoin’s vitality utilization continues to attract consideration from environmental organizations and regulators. According to the University of Cambridge’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Bitcoin mining at the moment consumes roughly 139 terawatt hours (Twh) of electrical energy yearly. For comparability, the whole UK solely used an estimated 265 Twh in 2021, in keeping with Statista.
The EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs committee not too long ago voted towards laws calling for a ban on Proof-of-Work mining. However, these paperwork do present distinctive perception into the lengths that some EU officers are prepared to go to with a purpose to crack down on mining-related vitality utilization.
While it seems that PoS cryptocurrencies stay secure from sweeping regulatory motion within the near-term, Bitcoin mining will proceed to be a contested problem within the EU.