EU Parliament Delays Vote on Markets in Crypto-Assets Directive

EU Parliament Delays Vote on Markets in Crypto-Assets Directive

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MiCA vote

The European Parliament would not vote on the Markets in Crypto-assets Directive, initially scheduled for February 28. The vote was to decide whether to ban Bitcoin and other Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies.

Vote Cancelled to Allow More Clarification on POW Provision

European Parliament economics committee member and main rapporteur of the bill Stefan Berger announced the cancellation of the scheduled MiCA vote on Twitter. According to Berger, there was a need for more clarification on “the question of proof-of-work” with stakeholders to prepare a proper legal framework.

The draft of the Markets in Crypto assets framework contains a provision that seeks to ban crypto firms from offering services that use cryptocurrencies employing the proof-of-work consensus. The current claims that the POW mining method is detrimental to the environment and stops Europe from achieving its environmental goals. The two largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, Bitcoin and Ethereum, use the POW consensus.

The provision attracted a lot of backlash from the public. Part of the reason the Bitcoin vote was pushed is that the condition can be misinterpreted as a de facto Bitcoin ban. Berger explained that it could be fatal if the EU Parliament sent the wrong signal with a vote under these circumstances.

Delaying the Bitcoin Vote is the Right Decision: Seth Hertlein

Global head of policy for Ledger Seth Hertlein supported the delayed vote on the Markets in Crypto-assets Directive, saying it was the right decision. According to Hertlein, the future financial competitiveness of Europe depends on getting the MiCA vote right. Currently, several critically important issues in the bill remain unresolved.

The draft is back with the parliamentary groups for further discussions and arrival to clear facts on proof-of-work. The parties pushing for the ban on proof-of-work mining are European parliamentarians from the Green and Socialist parties. Regulators and lawmakers from the member states of Sweden, Germany, and Spain also support the ban.

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