European Union Can’t Ban Cryptocurrency Mining, Says EU Commissioner
An EU commissioner just clarified the legality of cryptocurrency mining in Europe. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, has formally asserted that mining cryptocurrencies in Europe is legal and that miners only have to follow standard electricity rules.
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Gabriel: Bitcoin Mining Is Unconditionally Legal
In response to a question asked to the legislature, the European Parliament released a statement on March 9th, 2018, illuminating the regulatory status of mining cryptocurrencies. According to Commissioner Gabriel, mining cryptocurrencies in Europe is legal and only conditional per standard electricity regulations.
The official statement read:
“If the energy consumed for this activity is produced according to law, there is no legal basis to forbid or even limit it. However, as an electricity consuming economic activity within the EU, it is subject to EU rules and policies with respect to energy efficiency, the power sector and greenhouse gases emissions, with the greenhouse gas emission of the power sector as such largely covered by the EU emission trading system.”
EU Has No Gauge to Measure Mining Energy Consumption
Gabriel further explained that her staff will keep on assessing the effect of cryptocurrency mining on energy utilization. The Commissioner said that EU officials are uncertain how prevalent mining is throughout the EU, as there is no system to track such power usage within the bloc.
Gabriel’s statement asserted:
“As mining of cryptocurrency is not an illegal activity, the Commission did not put in place any means to track it, so far. However, the impact of cryptocurrencies on energy demand is a new factor driving energy demand and will be kept under review by the Commission.”
At present, most cryptocurrency mining seemingly takes places in China. However, it is undeniable that mining is increasingly popular in the EU. For example, Iceland has become a booming destination for miners due to the nation’s low electricity costs.
Will crypto miners move to Europe if China imposes stricter rules on the mining sector? Let us know your views in the comments section below.
Images via Politico