When it comes to fighting the law, the law usually wins. This has been proven with the various calls for regulation in regards to the protection of investors, fighting anti money laundering and anonymity in the world of cryptocurrency transactions. Amidst the more disheartening news of different sell offs, and tightening regulations by the SEC and other governmental bodies, slivers of good news like Bitcoin mining is legal in the EU does provide for some sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day.
Bitcoin and actors connected to Bitcoin still seem to face a negative perception by many governmental bodies and typically does not catch a break.
Whether it is the constant demand for regulations, the extreme comments against Bitcoin’s operations, or the allegations of its mining operations utilizing energy that is equivalent of Denmark, the world’s oldest cryptocurrency seems to be a thorn in the eyes of the authorities.
Which is why, it came as a breeze of fresh air when an official from the European Union (EU) shared comments that actually favored Bitcoin for once.
Bitcoin mining is legal in Europe
The growing concerns and talks to curb Bitcoin mining in Europe are making rounds again, with critics mentioning that Bitcoin mining is hogging energy that could be utilized by other operations more effectively.
The murmurs grew to the extent where the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, had to release a statement to address the issue specifically.
In response to a written question that was received by the Commission on the regulatory status of Bitcoin mining and the energy consumption that is associated with it, Gabriel mentioned that while the Commission is in knowledge of the unease that surrounds the energy consumption by blockchain networks such as Bitcoin, the operations of these entities that are used towards activities such as Bitcoin mining are not illegal.
“… if the energy consumed for this activity is produced according to law, there is no legal basis to forbid or even limit it.” She wrote.
She further mentioned that as an economic activity that consumes energy, the operations would be subject to EU regulations that pertain to energy efficiency, such as that of greenhouse gases emission. She stated that this particular requirement would therefore fall under the EU emission trading system.
Gabriel mentioned that due to Bitcoin mining being a legal activity, the Commission had not been putting tabs on it. However, she stated that since the energy demand by these operations is another aspect of this situation, it will be watched accordingly.
“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.” She mentioned.
She was also quick to note that while Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining in general pose these energy consumption requirements and the concerns that arise from them, not all blockchain based technologies actually need that much power to run and perform their functions.
With the EU sharing its two cents on the legality of Bitcoin mining operations, it remains to be seen how critics of these operations would react to it.
So there you have it, Bitcoin mining is legal in the EU and authorities have provided clarity on the matter.