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MiCA - Regulating crypto-assets: S&Ds deplore conservatives caving in to lobbying pressure

Date

28 Feb 2022

Sections

Euro & Finance

Today’s vote on regulating markets in crypto assets (MiCA) was postponed at the request of the conservative European People’s Party, with the support of the liberals and the populist right-wing ECR and ID. The media are reporting that this comes after pushbacks from lobbyists against an amendment their own EPP rapporteur negotiated to take on board the concerns from the progressives about the massive carbon footprint of crypto currencies.

Eero Heinäluoma, MEP and S&D negotiator on crypto assets, said:

“Cryptocurrencies use up as much energy as electric cars do. Bitcoin mining alone consumes more energy than countries the size of Austria or Portugal. With such a heavy carbon footprint, cryptocurrencies will make it an uphill struggle for Europe to combat exploding energy prices and become carbon-neutral.

“The Socialists and Democrats Group does not want to ban cryptocurrencies. On the contrary, we want to ensure that the industrial-scale mining of cryptocurrencies is set on a sustainable path.

“With these new rules, Europe has the chance to set the global standard for crypto assets. Yet we are already lagging behind when it comes to regulating this fast-paced new industry. We cannot afford any more delays. This is why we oppose the reopening of the text now because of external pressures. A deal is a deal.”

Note to the editor:

The Commission published its ‘markets in crypto assets’ (MiCA) proposal in September 2020 and European Parliament negotiators reached a deal on 16 February 2022.

The current draft foresees that the European Commission would be required to adopt, 6 months after the entry into force of this regulation, a delegated act in which it will define minimum environmental sustainability standards in respect of which a consensus mechanism will be deemed to be environmentally unsustainable. These standards defined by the European Commission would apply as from January 2025.

 

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