The European Union has voted against enacting a proposed rule that could have effectively banned Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The EU’s economic and monetary affairs committee voted 30-23 to nix a provision from a draft of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill which would have limited the use of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies which some officials deem as “unsustainable.”
The provision was previously taken out of the draft bill, before subsequently being added back again. Ostensibly, the provision would have required miners and blockchain operators to submit plans to EU agencies specifying how they would work within sustainability compliance by a certain time. Without submitting a plan, proof-of-work coins would have been banned from mining or trading within the European Union.
“It seems that reason and common sense prevailed. We must continue to defend the [principle] of technological neutrality,” French member of parliament Pierre Person said via Twitter, adding that “Europe must remain in the global competition!”
According to individuals who have seen it, the new amendment of the provision says,
“By 1 January 2025, the Commission shall present to the European Parliament and to the Council, as appropriate, a legislative proposal to amend Regulation (EU) 2020/852, in accordance with Article 10 of that Regulation, with a view to including in the EU sustainable finance taxonomy any cryptoasset mining activities that contribute substantially to climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
MiCA was originally introduced in 2020, and encompasses a wide range of issues in regards to digital assets, including consumer protection rules, anti-market manipulation provisions, know-your-customer (KYC) requirements, as well as additional rules for exchanges.
According to Patrick Hansen, Unstoppable Finance’s head of growth who has been closely covering MiCA, the new version of the bill likely won’t include anything to do with mining, but something will be added to the EU Sustainable Finance taxonomy.
Markets remained mostly unaffected by the EU’s vote, continuing to trade sideways after weeks of consolidation.