The thriller over the vote on banning Bitcoin as part of the EU’s MiCA regulation directive went well for the time being. With 32 to 24 votes, the EU Parliament did not adopt the Bitcoin ban paragraph. Now we must hope that the Greens, the Left and the Social Democrats do not continue to block the approval process. Finally, the opponents of Bitcoin could still veto the rapid implementation of MiCA, which is currently assumed.
No matter what the result, an aftertaste will remain. Bitcoin opponents in the EU Parliament show little willingness to deviate from their clientele’s politics and face objective discussion. In particular, the green field is uncompromising regarding the alleged environmental sow Bitcoin.
The importance of MiCA
The aforementioned parties are jeopardizing the rapid implementation of a major crypto regulation initiative. MiCA would not only increase consumer protection in the EU, but also give companies and investors more legal certainty. Important guidelines for an emerging industry in Europe.
The state would also receive more access and information rights from crypto service providers, for example, to be able to impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs. From anti-money laundering to higher environmental standards, MiCA would represent an important step forward for uniform crypto standards in Europe.
The scandalous calculation of the Greens
All the points mentioned above did not seem to be as important to the Greens as the goal of banning Bitcoin. In doing so, they knowingly risk postponing important regulatory decisions for several months, even years, just to engage in blatant patronage politics. Even knowing that the Bitcoin ban would be overturned by the Commission and the Council of Ministers at the latest in tripartite dialogue, people got involved in political games like the Brussels sitcom “Parlament” from the ARD media library. .
After the Bitcoin ban had already been removed from the MiCA decision document, BTC opponents filed a last second amendment entry for a Bitcoin ban on Friday, March 11, i.e. the last business day before the March 14 vote. Apparently consciously calculating that over the weekend people would have better things to do than deal with regulation and so the change would go unnoticed.
slightly different weekend
Fortunately, the amendments were made public, so the blockchain scene reacted to them on Saturday. We at BTC-ECHO have published a list of all German EU parliamentarians and the blockchain interest group Hanseatic Blockchain Institute eV quickly wrote a position paper with the participation of numerous blockchain experts.
Entrepreneurs, lawyers, university professors and other professional groups involved in the development of the crypto economy were allowed to sacrifice their weekends for this. The extent to which public pressure was decisive in voting against the Bitcoin ban cannot, of course, be subsequently assessed.
Consequences of a Bitcoin Ban
As unlikely as a Bitcoin ban is, the consequences would be devastating and would frustrate the intentions of MiCA regulation and climate policy. Only the current delay in MiCA is causing great damage, for which the aforementioned opponents of Bitcoin are responsible. The following effects could be expected if the EU decided to ban Bitcoin after all:
1) Money laundering and tax evasion
Crypto services like Bitcoin trading would switch to foreign exchanges with lower regulatory standards. The standards of highly regulated crypto firms with a BaFin license, such as Coinbase, would be superseded by deregulated offshore firms in the Cayman Islands and company.
Control by European and national authorities in Europe would be reduced. More loopholes for tax evasion would be created and fewer KYC and AML obligations would encourage crime. The possibility of imposing sanctions by forcing European crypto exchanges to freeze digital assets is also ruled out with a BTC ban.
2) Race to the bottom: consumer protection
Legal certainty for consumers would hardly exist, as as an EU Bitcoin investor it is difficult to sue companies from dubious jurisdictions. Some non-European crypto service providers don’t even have a footprint. The risk of falling into unfair business practices or even being caught by scammers would be significantly higher.
3) Brain drain and less tax revenue
Many EU crypto service providers would be forced to emigrate. This would benefit regions such as Switzerland, Singapore or the United States. On the one hand through the highly qualified jobs that are created and on the other hand through the resulting tax revenues. Europe would then repeat the same mistake it made with the Internet. The most influential and largest companies in the blockchain sector would re-emerge in the US or Asia and not in Europe.
4) Goodbye to weather protection
Basically, very little bitcoin mining takes place in the EU, so a bitcoin mining ban would have little effect. Instead, any effort to promote mining from renewable energy in the EU would be stopped. Dirty coal mining in Kazakhstan, on the other hand, would benefit.
So instead of mandating CO₂-neutral mining in the EU through strict legal requirements, a Bitcoin ban does the exact opposite. Especially since energy consumption should not be equated with CO₂ emissions. CO₂ emissions from Bitcoin mining are negligible at 0.05 percent, or one two-thousandth of total global CO₂ emissions.
It goes without saying that Bitcoin mining should only be done from renewable energy. However, Bitcoin mining companies now have to prove that they are green in order to raise enough funds from investors. As a rule, new energy sources are also harnessed rather than “harnessing” existing ones. Also, it should not be forgotten that the further development for mining trimmed graphics cards for power efficiency benefits various electronic devices like laptops, cars, etc. It should mean that the efficiency gains through the research being carried out can reduce the electricity consumption of various other industries. To be fair, it must be admitted that the latter is a theoretical assumption that cannot yet be scientifically proven.
Bitcoin Ban: Regardless of Losses
The efforts of some MEPs to ban Bitcoin can hardly be surpassed in terms of ignorance and arrogance. Instead of setting high sustainability standards, people prefer to change the ban club. The result would not be climate protection, but EU countries would be left behind in international competition and more environmental pollution due to lower standards in non-EU countries.
With the planned death regulation and the aim of launching a global wave of bans against Bitcoin, the loss of assets of millions of people is consciously accepted. At stake is currently a market capitalization of US$800 billion, which supporters of the ban say should trend towards zero.
The Greens, in particular, are ushering in a turning point. Apparently, what is useful and therefore legitimate to consume electrical energy should no longer be decided by the individual or the company, but by the State. It remains to be seen which apps the Greens want to ban in the future. Who knows, if there are enough Christmas curmudgeons among EU parliamentarians, Christmas lights could be next. With the murderous “climate” argument, the Greens have lost their objectivity: ideology instead of arguments.
Consequently, it is to be hoped that the Liberals and Christian Democrats will continue to prevail in the MiCA debate in the EU Parliament and may prevent further efforts by the Greens, the Left and the Social Democrats to ban Bitcoin.
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