A top European securities regulator says that the EU should consider banning energy-intensive forms of crypto mining.
Speaking in a recent interview with the Financial Times, vice-chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority Erik Thedéen argued Bitcoin mining has become a national issue and warned of the risks posed to the environment and climate change.
Thedéen asked for European regulators to consider a ban on proof-of-work mining — as used by Bitcoin and several other blockchains (e.g. Litecoin) — to incentivize a shift in the industry towards more energy-efficient alternatives, such as proof-of-stake (PoS).
Thedéen’s comments fell in line with measures taken by China to curb Bitcoin mining. In May 2021, China imposed a ban on crypto mining, which led to a disbursement of mining groups to more energy-efficient landscapes.
A Q3 report from the Bitcoin Mining Council noted that China’s ban had actually led to increased renewable energy usage for crypto mining, with renewable energy accounting for 58% of Bitcoin’s network in the third quarter of 2021.
Paris-based Melanion Capital, an alternative investment firm, pushed back on Thedéen’s concerns over PoW, calling a ban on crypto mining “completely misinformed.”
According to a report by Cointelegraph, the investment firm said that Bitcoin’s decentralized nature left it without a lobby group to defend it’s interest. Melanion argued that regulators were taking advantage of the system by potentially rendering mining illegal without allowing the industry to defend itself.
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