February 28, 2024
Will the European Union forbid crypto mining?

Will the European Union forbid crypto mining?

The European Union is actively considering measures to address the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, particularly focusing on the high-energy consumption associated with these activities. Recent discussions have spotlighted the potential for a Europe-wide regulation, prompted by critical evaluations from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). These evaluations highlight the significant environmental risks posed by the energy-intensive processes involved in cryptocurrency mining, notably those utilizing the proof-of-work (PoW) model.

The news was broken by Daniel Batten on X.

To mitigate these risks, there’s talk of the EU introducing a carbon tax specifically targeting crypto mining operations to discourage their energy consumption. This comes amid concerns over the energy usage of crypto mining activities surpassing that of several small countries, although efforts are being made within the industry to reduce this consumption. Moreover, the majority of crypto mining occurs outside the EU, in regions where electricity costs are lower, which adds another layer of complexity to the issue.

In light of these concerns, ESMA’s vice chair has advocated for a shift towards less energy-intensive mining methods, such as proof-of-stake (PoS), to alleviate the environmental impact. This stance is part of a broader EU initiative to curb energy use and promote sustainability within the burgeoning digital currency sector​​​​.

In the below X video Stephan Livera takes a deep dive into the defense of Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (PoW) in the EU, with Lyudmyla Kozlovska and Bota Jardemalie who advocate for Bitcoin and human rights from the OD Foundation. They discuss the potential impact of new EU regulations on Bitcoiners and miners, shining a light on EU bureaucracy, the ECB’s threat to Bitcoin, attacks on Bitcoin’s PoW, threats to self-custody and sovereignty, and the pivotal role of Bitcoin as a “bank of last resort”. Additionally, they share actionable ways for listeners to show their support through testimonials.