In the European Parliament, the Greens, the Left and the Social Democrats are trying to get a Bitcoin ban off the ground. A few days ago the relay. The problematic paragraph in the MiCA (Markets in Crypto Assets) regulatory project could be removed, as we reported in detail. The crypto sector seemed safe for the time being.
Bitcoin ban is on the cards again
Last minute amendments were received yesterday that, if rewritten a bit, would ultimately lead to a ban on Bitcoin services. Although there is no longer any explicit mention of a proof-of-work ban, the result would be the same. The corresponding MEPs want to ban cryptocurrencies classified as unsustainable. Specifically, the new paragraphs state:
Crypto assets will be subject to minimum environmental sustainability standards with respect to their consensus mechanism used to validate transactions, before being issued, offered or admitted to trading in the Union.
New MiCA paragraph
[…] establish and maintain a phased deployment plan to ensure compliance with those requirements, in accordance with the conditions and criteria referred to in section 3.
New MiCA paragraph
If these amendments find a majority next Monday, this would de facto lead to the exclusion of Bitcoin services, since BTC would logically not be able to establish such an implementation plan. Former Bitkom blockchain representative Patrick Hansen had already given an initial ranking on Twitter:
MiCA: The consequences of a positive vote
The consequences of a positive vote would be devastating. A complete ban on proof-of-work assets will cripple the EU market, encourage circumvention of laws, weaken consumer protection and force industry out of the EU, all without any environmental benefit.
It seems as if many MEPs do not know what they are actually voting for. Money laundering and tax evasion in particular would be greatly aided by this, while an entire industry is forced to emigrate. A crypto exchange that cannot offer Bitcoin trading is practically obsolete. With a market share of more than 40 percent, Bitcoin cannot be missing from any such service provider.
It does not matter if Bitpanda, Bison (Stuttgart Stock Exchange) or Coinbase with a German BaFin license: if Bitcoin were banned, they would all have little incentive to operate in the EU. After all, German crypto investors would have to switch to foreign exchanges and brokers, with all the negative consequences. The distance to the US, Switzerland or parts of Asia like Singapore would then be practically impossible to reach once and for all. The result would be less state control, less tax revenue, and brain drain.
What everyone can do now to save Bitcoin in the EU
We at BTC-ECHO have done our best to draw attention to the devastating regulatory plans. We welcome uniform and reasonable regulation in Europe. So we are not against regulation and MiCA, just against a de facto ban on Bitcoin.
For this reason, we publish below a compiled list with all the email addresses of the MEPs who will vote on Monday.
There are both Liberals and Christian Democrats who speak out against the Bitcoin ban, as well as Greens, Leftists, and Social Democrats who have tabled the aforementioned amendments. If you wish, you can make use of your democratic right and formulate your objections in a constructive manner.
Bitcoin Ban: Driven by Ideology and Not Based on Facts
Blockchain expert Dr. Sven Hildebrandt of DLC Distributed Ledger Consulting GmbH finds clear words for BTC-ECHO:
In my opinion, the discussion about a possible PoW ban is extremely ideology-driven and not very fact-based. What is particularly depressing in the course of the whole process, however, is that precisely those who call for a stronger ban often have the least specialized knowledge and do not seek an argument with the practice either. Apparently it is not about the topic, but in some factions it is about patronage politics and loud slogans.
Dr Sven Hildebrandt to BTC-ECHO
Hildebrandt also points out that we should not make the same mistakes that we made with the Internet. After all, “manipulating the global tech ban club is simply not the right way to go. Unless you want Chinese terms,” Hildebrandt continues.
How’s it going now?
However, there is still hope that if the amendments pass, a Bitcoin ban will not inevitably come. Finally, there are also negotiation meetings, the so-called trilogues, between the Commission, the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers. In hindsight, the Bitcoin ban passages could still be ruled out.
In any case, we at BTC-ECHO will stay in the loop and report any new developments.
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