EU Parliament Committee Votes against Proof-of-Work Ban

The committee for economic and monetary affairs of the European Parliament recently decided to not vote in favor of a ban on cryptocurrencies using the proof-of-work (PoW) mining algorithm for entities operating in the EU. Instead, Stefan Berger, a European Parliament member, had put forth an alternative proposal in regard to crypto assets, which received a significant amount of support. On Monday, the vote on the legislation referred to as MiCA i.e. the Markets in Crypto Assets was conducted by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). An addition had been made to the bill last minute, which included a de-facto ban on digital assets using the PoW mining method.

Unstoppable Finance’s head of strategy, Patrick Hansen said that the committee had decided to vote against the ban. He disclosed this via a series of Tweets on Monday in which he said that the vote against the mining method was a political success and a big relief for the crypto community and bitcoin in the European Union. He also gave a count of the votes and said that six had abstained from voting, while 30 were against the ban and 23 in favor of it. As far as the draft legislation MiCA was concerned, Hansen said that 4 were against it, 31 in favor and 23 had chosen to abstain. 

Unstoppable Finance also tweeted that they were relieved over the Parliament not voting in favor of imposing a ban on EU companies for using the Proof-of-work mining method. Before the vote had happened, attorney Jake Chervinsky had opined that the PoW ban included in MiCA was coming off as a proposed ban on bitcoin in the EU. He had said that if PoW was indeed banned, then it would not be long for them to come after Proof-of-stake (PoS) as well and they would target every other Sybil resistance mechanism that comes. 

Hansen also disclosed that rather than the PoW ban, an alternative amendment had received the support of the European Parliament, which had been put forward by Parliament member who was heading the MiCA legislation as well. The new amendment that received support dictated that by January 1st 2025, the European Commission would come up with a legislative proposal and present it to the Council and the European Parliament. This would be to amend the regulation to include any crypto mining activity in the sustainable finance economy of the EU that would substantially contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

After the votes on the PoW ban, Berger said that this was a win for the MiCA legislation. He added that as EU parliament members had accepted his proposal, then it could lead the way to ensuring crypto regulation throughout the European Union. As far as any possibility of PoW ban are concerned, Hansen said that those who had lost the vote could speed up the MiCA process and bring this discussion to the plenary. They can accomplish this goal with 1/10 of the votes and they already have those. He also added that even other than MiCA regulation, the talks about the energy-mining method are still not over. 

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