European Union officers mentioned banning Bitcoin (BTC) buying and selling throughout a debate on a proposal to ban proof-of-work (PoW) mining, based on paperwork obtained by a freedom of knowledge request.
In line with a report revealed 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 needs to be enforced as a way to curb its total power consumption.
Probably the most worrying feedback, from the crypto neighborhood’s perspective, got here from a doc that detailed some minutes from an EU assembly with Sweden’s monetary supervisor and an environmental safety company. These officers instructed that regulators ought to strain the Bitcoin neighborhood to change to a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism as a substitute of its present energy-intensive proof-of-work mechanism. An unidentified official within the dialogue stated:
“Ethereum began transferring [to PoS] due to its neighborhood […] If Ethereum is ready to shift, we may legitimately request the identical from BTC. We have to ‘shield’ different crypto cash which are sustainable. We don’t see [the] have to ‘shield’ the Bitcoin neighborhood.”
One other unnamed speaker instructed that the EU may moderately place a blanket ban on buying and selling any crypto belongings that used a PoW algorithm.
The reply to this query was redacted within the doc to guard the “ongoing decision-making course of,” however it brings consideration to the truth that the EU was significantly contemplating such dramatic regulation.
When discussing the potential impact of an outright Bitcoin ban on traders and retail merchants, the officers had been largely unconcerned, claiming that each one Bitcoin traders are totally conscious of draw back threat.
“Individuals in BTC are totally conscious of the volatility of the forex/funding threat. [We] don’t want further safety measures.”
This report comes as Bitcoin’s power utilization continues to attract consideration from environmental organizations and regulators. In line with the College of Cambridge’s Bitcoin Electrical energy Consumption Index, Bitcoin mining presently consumes roughly 139 terawatt-hours (Twh) of electrical energy yearly. For comparability, the complete United Kingdom solely used an estimated 265 Twh in 2021, according to Statista.
On the finish of March, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen teamed up with Greenpeace to strain Bitcoin to alter its consensus mechanism to PoS, very like Ethereum intends to do later this 12 months.
The EU’s Financial and Financial Affairs Committee just lately voted in opposition to laws calling for a ban on proof-of-work mining. Nevertheless, these paperwork do present distinctive perception into the lengths that some EU officers are prepared to go to as a way to crack down on mining-related power utilization.
Whereas it seems that PoS cryptocurrencies stay secure from sweeping regulatory motion within the close to time period, Bitcoin mining will proceed to be a contested subject within the EU.