EU officials considered Bitcoin trading ban to enforce proposed mining ban

European Union (EU) officers mentioned banning Bitcoin buying and selling throughout a debate on a proposal to ban Proof of Work mining in keeping with paperwork obtained by a freedom of data request. 

In accordance 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 (BTC) ought to be enforced with the intention to curb its general vitality consumption.

Probably the most worrying feedback from the crypto group’s perspective got here from a doc that detailed the minutes from an EU assembly with Sweden’s monetary supervisor and an environmental safety company through which officers steered that regulators stress the Bitcoin group to modify to a Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism, as an alternative of its present energy-intensive Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism. A unidentified official within the dialogue stated:

“Ethereum began shifting [to PoS] due to its group…if Ethereum is ready to shift, we may legitimately request the identical from BTC. We have to ‘defend’ different crypto cash which are sustainable. We don’t see [the] must ‘defend’ the Bitcoin group.”

One other unnamed speaker steered that the EU may fairly 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 critically contemplating such dramatic regulation.

When discussing the potential impact of an outright Bitcoin ban on buyers and retail merchants the officers have been largely unconcerned, claiming that each one Bitcoin buyers 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 extra safety measures.”

This report comes as Bitcoin’s vitality utilization continues to attract consideration from environmental organizations and regulators. In accordance with the College of Cambridge’s Bitcoin Electrical energy Consumption Index, Bitcoin mining at present consumes roughly 139 terawatt hours (Twh) of electrical energy yearly. For comparability, your entire UK solely used an estimated 265 Twh in 2021, in keeping with Statista.

On the finish of March, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen teamed up with Greenpeace to stress Bitcoin to vary its consensus mechanism to PoS, very like Ethereum intends to do later this yr.

The EU’s Financial and Financial Affairs committee lately voted in opposition to laws calling for a ban on Proof-of-Work mining. Nonetheless, these paperwork do present distinctive perception into the lengths that some EU officers are keen to go to with the intention to crack down on mining-related vitality utilization.

Whereas it seems that PoS cryptocurrencies stay protected from sweeping regulatory motion within the near-term, Bitcoin mining will proceed to be a contested subject within the EU.