Europe Crypto Regulations Set to Move Forward—Without Bitcoin ‘Ban’


In brief

  • MiCA was delayed to rework language about a potential “ban” on Bitcoin mining and proof-of-work blockchains.
  • It’s moving forward again, said Economics Committee Chair Stefan Berger.

After European Union parliamentarians paused a comprehensive crypto regulation bill to rework unpopular language, it wasn’t clear when it would land back on the docket.

Stefan Berger, the main force behind the Markets in Crypto-Assets Directive (MiCA), announced today that the bill is scheduled for a vote by the European Parliament’s Economics Committee on March 14. 

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Berger, who is chair of the committee, had pulled MiCA from consideration for a February 28 vote so that he and others could rework language within the bill after opponents balked at a section calling for proof-of-work blockchains, such as Bitcoin, to meet “minimum environmental sustainability standards” in order to be minted, exchanged or used within the European Union. 

The lawmaker suggested that it could be “misinterpreted & understood as a [proof-of-work] ban.” Ultimately, the entire passage was deleted, though concerns remain in some corners about the environmental impact of Bitcoin, which purposely uses high amounts of electricity to secure the network.

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What remains of the bill, originally proposed in September 2020, is still a hefty package of regulations covering stablecoins and crypto services. According to its authors, one of MiCA’s primary goals is “ensuring that the EU financial services regulatory framework is innovation-friendly and does not pose obstacles to the application of new technologies.”

U.S.-based exchanges and service providers, along with some politicians, have been calling on the federal government to create a crypto framework as well, lest the U.S. FinTech sector become less competitive with, say, Europe. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that U.S. President Joe Biden was set to sign an executive order “this week” that would direct federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to coordinate on crypto regulations.

https://decrypt.co/94562/europe-crypto-regulations-set-move-forward-without-bitcoin-ban

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