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European Parliament delays decision on crypto bill over proof-of-work

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Stefan Berger stated, "It is crucial for me that the MiCA report not be misinterpreted as a de facto Bitcoin ban."

The European Union's parliament is postponing a vote on a structure for governing cryptocurrencies due to worries over proof-of-work mining.

Stefan Berger, a member of the European Parliament's economics committee, stated in a Friday Twitter post that the government entity had delayed a decision on the Markets in Crypto Assets, or MiCA, framework due for Monday. Berger stated that parliament must define "the question of proof-of-work" in conversations with stakeholders to provide a suitable legal structure, noting that some may perceive the idea as a crypto restriction.

“The discussion about MiCA indicates that individual passages of the draft report can be misinterpreted and understood as a [proof-of-work] ban,” Berger added.“It would be fatal if the EU Parliament sent the wrong signal with a vote under these circumstances.”

The MiCA, which was initially proposed to the European Commission in September 2020 and enacted by the European Council in November 2021, intended “to create a regulatory framework for the crypto-assets market that supports innovation and draws on the potential of crypto-assets in a way that preserves financial stability and protects investors.”  Berger, the vote's investigator (the person designated to report on its events), stated he postponed the vote and did not say when it might be rescheduled.

The need for clarity may have been driven by claims that a disclosed draught of the MiCA suggested restricting the use of cryptocurrencies in the EU due to its power consumption. If adopted, the regulation plan would substitute all existing national structures on crypto for EU member countries, eliminating the necessity to update legislation one at a time, which could have resulted in a ban on proof-of-work mining.

As the crypto sector develops and the consequences of climate change become more evident, several legislators and authorities in the EU have called for a halt on proof-of-work mining. In November, a Swedish financial authority and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency urged for a ban on proof-of-work mining, which drew criticism from certain market leaders.

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