News - EU Commission launches new attack on Bitcoin - What is Brussels up to?

By Ted Maas

EU Commission launches new attack on Bitcoin - What is Brussels up to?

Bitcoin (BTC)
Laws and regulations

The EU Commission is providing 800,000 euros to prove Bitcoin's alleged climate damage. The outcome of this report could just cause additional measures against Bitcoin.

EU Commissie

One might think that the big questions about crypto-regulation in the European Union have been answered. After all, the Markets in Crypto Asset Regulation, MiCA for short, was passed and the Bitcoin ban that was temporarily up in the air was successfully averted. However, a new announcement from the European Commission indicates that Bitcoin will be targeted again. The implications of this could be enormous. The outcome of the report could just lead to even more regulation for Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining.

EU Commission: From where the recent interest?

In late September, the European Commission published the following proposal: "Developing a Methodology and Sustainability Standards for Mitigating the Environmental Impact of Crypto-Assets". The commission is ready to spend 800,000 euros of taxpayer money for the new methodology they are asking to assess the environmental damage of cryptocurrencies.

In principle, a scientific study of cryptoeconomics is commendable, but further reading reveals that it is not primarily about gathering knowledge, but mainly about political interests. In the further explanation of the call for proposals, you also learn why. The EU Commission is already certain that cryptocurrencies cause ecological and social damage.

Tax money against Bitcoin

The first proposal states, "There is evidence that crypto assets can cause significant climate and environmental damage and generate negative economic and social externalities. This is independent of the consensus mechanism used to validate transactions."

This introduction suggests that this investigation is not looking at various cryptocurrencies, but ultimately only Bitcoin. The anti-Bitcoin camp in the EU is thus once again trying to gather alleged evidence to then take separate measures against proof-of-work, ergo Bitcoin. After all, the crypto economy would contribute to the goals set forth in the Paris climate agreement, the letter continues.

The biased stance before the research begins does not bode well. Only research institutes critical of Bitcoin are likely to get the assignment. In other words, this is not a study of the current impact, but rather a commission with the result "assessing the negative impact of Bitcoin". More recent statements and studies showing the exact opposite - that Bitcoin may have a positive impact on the climate - are being deliberately ignored, according to critics of the plan.

The final argument

It "climate-killing argument" seems to be the last argument of Bitcoin opponents in Brussels. They are grasping at this last straw and putting all their eggs in this basket. As already became clear in the MiCA negotiations, there is a partly strong ideological movement against Bitcoin, especially in the Greens and Left camp.

Especially since, based on the predictable results expected from the research, they want to work on "tow legislative measures in the field of crypto asset regulation", as further stated in the call. Exactly what this regulation of Bitcoin will look like in the future is not known. However, the potential damage could be enormous.

Anti-Bitcoin measures put MiCA at risk

It could, therefore, exclude Bitcoin relative to Ether and Co. For example, the EU could ban Bitcoin mining, impose an environmental tax on BTC transactions or require companies such as exchanges to offer only Bitcoin from green production for trade or use for services.

Whatever is ultimately implemented, one thing is certain: the progress made in recent months on MiCA regulation and the accompanying strengthening of Europe as a business location would be undone in the case of anti-Bitcoin measures. After all, regulatory security makes no sense if you can't use the most important cryptocurrency economically.

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