The future of bitcoin mining and its legal standing will depend upon today’s vote in the European Parliamentary Committee on Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA). This MiCA bill of the European Union has added back a line related to environmental sustainability, which could manifest to be problematic for the Bitcoin miners of the whole region.
After being previously taken out, a line stating “minimum environmental sustainability” has again been reintroduced for crypto miners. This newly included line will necessitate the blockchain operators to put forward a rollout plan with the details of how they will adjust with the environmental sustainability compliance. If anyone fails to submit a plan with the respective details, it will prohibit the operators from mining the coins and trading of those coins will also become illegal.
Although the MiCA bill does not specifically state that it would affect the proof-of-work chains, the bitcoin network, Ethereum, and many other crypto assets use the PoW consensus algorithm. But bitcoin is absolutely decentralized, and there is no one who can issue a rollout plan on behalf of this cryptocurrency; therefore, the absence of this plan can endanger the plans and projects of bitcoin mining operations on the whole EU region. According to last year’s data from Statista and Cambridge University, the European Union adds about 12-14 percent of the whole global hashing power on the Bitcoin network. Ireland and Germany are the major contributors to this particular region.
The carbon emission rate and energy consumption rate related to the bitcoin mining operation are the main topics of this debate, including whether the EU regulates the whole situation and how it can be done? But when raw data is used to compare the whole situation, the concerns seem misplaced.
As per the data shared by the Frankfurt School in November of last year, the total power consumption of the bitcoin network was 90.86 Terawatt hours (Tw/H). In comparison to the global news consumption, it is about 0.05 percent, and the network can also be held responsible for 0.08 percent of the total carbon emissions, although the metrics are really difficult to calculate precisely.