During a debate on proof-of-work, an official asked if the European Union should ban bitcoin trading. Another special statement is that the EU must force the bitcoin community into proof of stake.
This can be read in the debate report, the minutes were requested through a European WOB request. Much of the document has been grayed out so that not everything is readable, including the answer to the question about the Bitcoin ban.
Bitcoin energy consumption
The German Netzpolitik has requested and published this document (PDF). It contains special questions and comments, all of which are intended to reduce the power consumption of proof-of-work currencies like bitcoin.
The fictitious document contains minutes of a meeting between the Swedish financial regulator and an environmental organization. Why Sweden? Because many bitcoin miners are located here. According to the regulator, this is because it is cold in Sweden, so miners do not have to cool down their equipment. In addition, there is a lot of cheap and sustainable energy available and miners receive tax benefits for the purchase of their computers.
However, from the whole document it seems that people are not a fan of this, “renewable energy is frugal and should be used for other things besides mining bitcoin.”
Force bitcoiners to proof of stake
An attendee said that the bitcoin community should do the same as the ethereum community. Ethereum is moving to a different way of reaching consensus among users, that is, by using proof of stake. This is exactly what they are suggesting for bitcoin, and if they don’t want it, then the EU should put pressure on it.
“Ethereum started the transition to PoS because of its community… if Ethereum can do it, we can legitimately ask the Bitcoin community to do the same. We need to protect other cryptocurrencies that are sustainable. We see no need to protect the Bitcoin community.”
Ban Bitcoin trading
Another anonymous speaker asked if the EU could ban trading of all cryptocurrencies using proof of work. Then it would be prohibited to buy or sell bitcoin.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question was completely fictitious in the document to protect the “ongoing decision-making process”, but it at least points out that EU members are considering such a drastic measure.
Attendees also speculate on what such a ban could mean for investors. It all comes down to his big guilt shot:
“BTC participants are fully aware of the volatility of currency/investment risk. We do not need additional protective measures.”
In a way they are right, anyone who invests in bitcoin and crypto knows that there are risks and there are no guarantees. That’s good, because it means that every bitcoiner is responsible for whatever investment behavior they feel comfortable with. It’s a shame this well-behaved is used as a batting stick.
Other EU affairs
The EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee recently voted against legislation requiring a Proof of Work ban. However, this document does offer a glimpse of how far some EU officials are willing to go to crack down on bitcoin’s power consumption.
Related news: The European Parliament has banned anonymous crypto transactions.