The European Union, through the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, has approved the mining of BTC and all cryptocurrencies based on the consensus algorithm called proof-of-work (PoW).
European union rejected PoW ban
Thus, while mining of PoW-based cryptocurrencies was not strictly prohibited in the European Union, the bloc’s regulators had cast doubt on the topic after the draft of the proposed legal framework of the European Union (EU) for the management of virtual currencies, known as Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework.
Therefore, there were doubts as to whether the MICA standards would eventually ban PoW-based mining from the European Union, due to the model’s high energy consumption.
Thus, this Monday, March 14th, the Economic Affairs Commission decided to vote against the ban on PoW mechanisms, thus freeing up activity in all member nations of the European Union.
Therefore, the provision that could have banned mining on the mainland or forced PoW cryptocurrencies to switch to greener mechanisms did not get the necessary votes in parliament.
Thus, as a result, the computing process used to sustain the BTC network is under intense scrutiny by European Union lawmakers due to energy usage concerns.
As BTC’s popularity has grown, controversy over its energy consumption and environmental impact has also intensified.
Regardless of the fact that, according to the latest report, BTC only accounted for 0.08% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2021, indicating that talking points criticizing grid energy use appear to have been inflated.
Thus, an earlier draft of the MiCA framework featured a clear and unambiguous section advocating a restriction on cryptocurrency services that relied on ecologically unsustainable consensus techniques from January 2025, with the ban taking effect immediately.
Stefan Berger, an EU parliamentarian responsible for the MiCA legislative framework at the time, said that the problematic paragraph had been removed, but that a final decision had not yet been reached.
However, the new draft contained a suggestion identical to the previous one, stating that cryptocurrencies “will be subject to minimum standards of environmental sustainability in relation to the consensus mechanism used to validate transactions”, which, however, with the new decision ceases to exist.