European Parliament votes against bitcoin mining ban

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The European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France. (Shutterstock)
The European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France. (Shutterstock)

European Parliament members have voted against a proposed rule that would have effectively banned bitcoin in the EU because of the energy consumption involved in mining the cryptocurrency.

The parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee voted 30-23 to keep a provision out of the proposed Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework that required all cryptocurrencies to be subject to the EU’s “minimum environmental sustainability standards with respect to their consensus mechanism.”

This would have meant a ban on proof-of-work mining, which is used by bitcoin, as well as ether and litecoin. The provision would have required these cryptocurrencies to phase out their use of proof-of-work and switch to the less energy-intensive proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.

Proof-of-stake is already used by most newer cryptos and there are plans for ether to make the switch this year, but there is no such plan for bitcoin.

While rejecting the provision, the committee agreed to ask the EC to include crypto-assets mining in the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities by 2025 to reduce its carbon footprint.

Ghana
Meanwhile, in Ghana, the central bank is up in arms against crypto, while promoting its yet to be launched Central Bank Digital Currency called the eCedi.
Exactly a week ago on March 9, the central bank issued a public notice, warning Ghanaians and licensed financial institutions against a yet to be launched investment and development crypto mining platform called Freedom Coin and against all other cryptocurrencies.
Just today, May 16, 2022, the central bank released a designed paper for its regulated eCedi, calling on Ghanaians to support the piloting of it and also spelling out in detail, the benefits it holds for consumers, banks, fintech, merchants, government and the BoG.
In the face of leading democracies gearing up towards regulating crypto instead of banning it, what direction would the Bank of Ghana take the crypto revolution in the face of its own eCedi?
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