EU Can’t Ban Bitcoin Mining Over Energy Concerns, Official Says

Cryptocurrency mining is perfectly legal in Europe and only subject to standard electricity rules, according to an EU commissioner.

In a statement released last week, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, addressed concerns about the power-intensive nature of cryptocurrency mining, while clarifying the regulatory status of the industry.

Gabriel said:

“If the energy consumed for this activity is produced according to law, there is no legal basis to forbid or even limit it. … As mining of cryptocurrency is not an illegal activity, the Commission did not put in place any means to track it, so far.”

However, as an electricity-consuming economic activity, mining is subject to EU rules regarding “energy efficiency, the power sector and greenhouse gases emissions,” she added.

Gabriel went on to say the European Commission would continue to review the growing impact cryptocurrencies have on energy consumption and demand.

As mentioned by the commissioner, it’s not currently clear how much bitcoin mining is carried out within the EU…

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