A provision aimed at restricting the use of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies inside the European Union made its way into the final draught of the MiCA regulatory framework.
On March 14, a European parliamentary committee is scheduled to vote on the final version of the document.
As previously reported, another draught featuring a clause aimed at banning Bitcoin in the EU by 2025 was published in late February. The action drew widespread condemnation from the community, reportedly compelling EU legislators to abandon their intention to phase down the energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus process.
Stefan Berger, the MiCA framework’s rapporteur, stated that the law was not intended to constitute a de facto Bitcoin prohibition. The bill has been amended to remove the harsh clause.
According to Patrick Hansen, director of development and strategy at DeFi startup Unstoppable Finance, the current proof-of-work ban’s phrasing has been softened down, but its impact remains “basically the same.”
Once again, the last-minute repair has generated outrage. David Marcus, Meta’s previous blockchain head, characterised the proposed Bitcoin ban as a “protectionist action,” adding that it would endanger European enterprises’ worldwide relevance. He believes the project would have “catastrophic” implications for Europe while offering an “enormous” opportunity for the US.
Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer of CoinShares, described the move as a “political assault” on financial independence, predicting that EU authorities would not stop at prohibiting Bitcoin and other proof-of-work cryptocurrencies.
Pascal Gaulthier, CEO of Ledger, advised the company’s executives to contact European Parliament members in trying to change the decision. Hansen thinks the clause will be eliminated during the trilogue discussions.