A leading EU financial regulator is calling for prohibiting Bitcoin mining

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, according to Erik Thedeen, the newly appointed vice chair of the Board of Supervisors of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), he urges regulators across the European Union to impose a comprehensive Bitcoin mining ban on Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining.

Bitcoin mining ban proposed by top EU financial regulator

He proposed giving an upper hand to proof-of-stake (PoS), an alternative consensus algorithm that is more energy-efficient. “The solution is to ban proof of work. Proof of stake has a significantly lower energy profile”, he stated.

Thedeen sees Bitcoin mining as an obstacle to achieving the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. However, he has made it clear that he is not in favor of a complete ban on cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin has been relentlessly criticized for its environmental impact for years, but China’s ban on mining has contributed to the greening of the largest cryptocurrency. According to a survey recently published by the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), the share of renewable energy used for Bitcoin mining increased to 58.5% in the fourth quarter.

However, Bitcoin’s green credit doesn’t seem to placate critics. “Bitcoin is now a national issue for Sweden because of the amount of renewable energy devoted to mining,” Thedeen claims that Bitcoin is now hogging up renewable energy in Sweden, his home country, thus becoming “a national issue.”

Bitcoin’s power consumption is also becoming an increasingly controversial issue in the US, which has recently emerged as the world’s top mining hub following China’s turn.

The U.S. House of Representatives Energy Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation will hold a hearing on mining evidence of work this Thursday. The memo released by the committee paints a rather negative picture of the industry, pointing to excessive energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and e-waste. It also places proof of stake as a cleaner alternative. Bitfury CEO Brian Brooks and other industry participants appeared on the list of witnesses.

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