Stefan Berger, a member of the European Parliament in charge of overseeing the MiCA regulation, confirmed that the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) rejected a proposal to prohibit proof-of-work (PoW) consensus protocols like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) from operating in the EU.
“By accepting my proposal, members have paved the way for future-oriented crypto regulation. It is now a matter of accepting the report as a whole in the final vote & sending out a strong signal for innovation,” Berger tweeted.
The latest vote by the committee will now allow the parliament to hold a plenary vote.
With 30 MEPs voting against the controversial proposal that could de-facto ban PoW-based cryptoassets in the EU, and 23 in favor of the measure, according to a breakdown obtained by Patrick Hansen, Head of Strategy & Growth at Unstoppable Finance, a developer of a DeFi wallet, the latest development suggests that the vast majority of lawmakers from the center-right European People’s Party (EPP), the largest group in the parliament which comprises 177 of its 705 members, is against the controversial measure. Among this group, 14 EPP committee members voted against the potential PoW ban, and only one lawmaker supported it.
At the same time, the second-largest group of the parliament, the Socialists and Democrats, supported the possible ban, with all 13 committee members voting in its favor.
“Bitcoin mining alone uses up more energy than countries the size of Austria or Portugal. The S&D and Green proposal to give the Commission the mandate to adopt a delegated act defining minimum environmental sustainability standards for the consensus mechanisms used for validating crypto-asset transactions was voted down by the conservatives and liberals with the support of the far-right ID group. The Socialists and Democrats abstained in the final vote,” the group said in a statement.
Green and far-left MEPs voted in favor of the center-left legislators, while liberal, conservative, and far-right MEPs sided with the EPP lawmakers who opposed the prospective PoW ban. Six MEPs abstained from voting on the contentious proposal.
The Council of the European Union, which consists of ministers from 27 EU member states, and the European Parliament, which is the EU’s only directly-elected institution, has been involved in the so-called trilogue negotiations on the MiCA proposal, as part of the EU’s complicated legislative procedure.