Returned ‘proof-of-work ban’ in EU crypto markets bill fails in committee

The European Parliament has once again stripped a landmark piece of crypto legislation of language that many feared would target proof-of-work cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

On March 14, the ECON committee of the European Parliament voted down amendments to the Markets in Digital Assets, or MiCA, regulation that would target PoW networks as an environmental concern, potentially forcing the phase-out of such mining throughout the EU.

The regulation’s rapporteur and leader of the ECON committee, Dr. Stefan Berger, was opposed to earlier more aggressive language against proof-of-work mining but had faced difficulties assembling a coalition.

“The Greens/Socialists attempt to ban PoW failed,” a representative for Berger told The Block. “The crypto-friendly proposal of Dr Berger MEP was adopted.”

The full bill will face another vote before the committee Monday afternoon, but Berger’s team expects a broad majority.

If the bill passes the committee, it will face a larger vote before parliament and then trilogues, or debates involving the European Commission and the European Council, which has already passed its own distinct version of the same bill. 

As The Block reported this weekend, the new language appeared at the eleventh hour that could similarly target PoW mining. 

The MiCA vote was originally delayed due to disputes over earlier similar provisions. 

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