The MiCA (Markets for Crypto Assets) bill, which has been under discussion since 2020, will finally not include Article 2a which proposed to restrict digital mining and the use of proof-of-work (PoW) based cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.
However, MEPs who raise energy concerns can still appeal and submit it for evaluation by a tripartite commission.
Disputes in the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee voted 32 to 24 against the final version of the European Union bill that sought to limit cryptocurrency mining, as reported by CryptoNews earlier.
BTC in sustainable financial taxonomy?
The next step was a new voting process to approve the document establishing a regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry. This legislation establishes a licensing regime at continental level and a single regulation for member states.
The most popular proposal was put forward by MEP Stefan Berger, who proposes to include cryptocurrencies within the scope of another European environmental regulation, known as the sustainable financial taxonomy.
The taxonomy regulation, in force since the middle of last year, establishes the criteria for qualifying an economic or investment activity as sustainable from an environmental point of view.
Once approved in a new voting process, the MiCA bill will be subject to further discussion, or trilogue. This involves the Parliament, the Council representing the 27 member states and the EU Commission.
It is expected that two months after its adoption, the law will go into effect, which could be in the middle of this year.
However, companies will have a six-month transition period to comply with the requirements, commented on Twitter Patrick Hansen, a community member who has closely followed the entire process Europe is taking to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin mining may still be banned in Europe
Although a majority of MPs voted against the article restricting Bitcoin mining, the activity can still be banned in Europe. This is because pro-ban voters have one last option, as they might try to get their proposal to gain traction through trilogues to bring discussion to Parliament's plenary.
“To do this, they need 10% of the votes of the European Parliament, which they already have. This would bring the PoW discussion into the high-level political arena. Since we cannot predict how it will develop, it is something that should be avoided. Even if the vote on PoW does not change, it would unnecessarily delay regulation for at least another couple of months ”. - Patrick Hansen, strategy leader of the DeFi Unstoppable Finance project.
Hansen adds that even outside of MiCA regulation, the discussion of proof-of-work regulation, or Bitcoin mining, is far from over. He believes the debate will return within the framework of implementing regulations to include digital mining in the sustainability taxonomy regulation or when the European Union intends to regulate data centers, as he warned earlier.