EU on Track to Ban Bitcoin

Last updated: Mar 30, 2023
3 Min Read
AI Generated Summary

Bitcoin could be banned in the European Union from early 2025 if the European Parliament fails to scrap an amendment to the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) framework.

MiCA is the increasingly anticipated crypto regulatory framework for the European Union. According to a report released by German cryptocurrency media outlet BTC-ECHO, there is a provision forbidding the “environmentally unsustainable” consensus mechanism "Proof-of-Work" in MiCA which would effectively ban Bitcoin.

Proof of Work MiCA

If the regulatory framework goes into place as is, that would mean Bitcoin would become illegal within the European Union when the framework takes effect on January 1, 2025.

It’s uncertain how this would impact individuals holding Bitcoin, but it’s certain that businesses, including exchanges, would be unable to offer any type of service that included or was associated with Bitcoin and any other proof-of-work cryptocurrency.

Stefan Berger, the Director of the Institute for Social Movements in Germany, and the rapporteur on the framework said it’s “very likely” that MiCA will pass with this amendment in place. He noted that it is a deal breaker for those who support green initiatives and a crackdown on proof-of-work within cryptocurrencies.

The decision was slated for later this year following discussions between the European Commission, member states of the EU, and the European Parliament. However late breaking developments indicate that Berger, who is in charge of the vote on the framework, has postponed it from its February 28 date.

Berger took to Twitter to say:

"As rapporteur, it is central for me that the MiCA Directive is not misinterpreted as a de facto Bitcoin ban."

The postponement came after a leak about the amendment generated negative press as well as overwhelming Twitter response, causing right and center-right members withdrew support for the latest amendments.

Seth Hertlein, the global head of policy for hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger had this to say:

"Postponing the vote is the right decision, as several critically important issues in the bill remain unresolved. The future financial competitiveness of Europe depends on getting MiCA right."
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