Is the EU BTC ban coming, or can investors breathe a sigh of relief? A possible change in the EU MiCA guidelines had caused head shaking, excitement and confusion in the crypto space in the past few weeks.
News reached on February 23 that the possibility should be discussed that providers of crypto assets would no longer be allowed to provide services from January 1, 2025, unless the assets were based on sustainable consensus mechanisms.
EU BTC ban misinterpreted according to Berger
In the text it said: “In particular, they may not facilitate the purchase or trading of such crypto-assets and not provide custody services for such crypto-assets”. At first glance there seems to be only one interpretation for these words. Crypto service providers are no longer allowed to sell proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, which include BTC. But then the tide turned.
After other media picked up the news, Stefan Berger (CDU) corrected the interpretation of the application on Twitter. As Chair of the EU Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), he has significant responsibility for shaping the MiCA directive on crypto regulation.
Berger pointed out via Twitter that “individual passages of the draft report could be misinterpreted and understood as a POW ban”. It’s about that not for a push for a possible BTC ban.
Final MiCA draft submitted
Stefan Berger reported on Twitter on March 7th that he had finally submitted the application. If you interpret your tweets correctly, you can now rule out a BTC and POW ban.
The first step is to bring cryptocurrencies into the EU’s sustainability discussions. The EU should include cryptocurrencies in its taxonomy.
The EU taxonomy, into which BTC is to find its way, is initially a set of rules for sustainable management. Only recently, the EU rules on taxonomy caused deep frowns among observers, as nuclear and gas energy have been classified as sustainable.
As you can see from his other tweets, Berger would like more clarity with regard to the energy consumption of crypto assets. However, Berger would like support for the application, which the members are to vote on on March 14th. Finally be “[s]strong support […] a strong signal from the EU Parliament for a technology-neutral & innovation-friendly financial sector.”
With the MiCA, the European Union can set global standards. The MiCA creates crypto regulation that is a pioneer in terms of innovation, consumer protection, legal certainty and the creation of reliable supervisory structures in the area of crypto assets.
What does the application mean for BTC and the crypto space?
A BTC ban (which is difficult to implement anyway) is done for the time being. Rather, users can expect regulatory advances. According to Berger, this should bring a pioneering position in the areas of “innovative ability, consumer protection, legal certainty and the creation of reliable supervisory structures” in the field of cryptocurrencies.