Sweden, EU Discussed Bitcoin Proof-of-Work Ban: Report

Documents released by German site suggest ongoing concern about the environmental impact of proof-of-work technology.Read MoreFeedzy

Swedish financial regulators and the European Commission have discussed the possibility of banning the proof-of-work technology that underpins bitcoin due to its environmental impact, according to documents published by website netzpolitik.org.

The revelation comes after lawmakers at the European Parliament came close to passing restrictions on the energy-hungry technology which some characterized as a bitcoin ban.

Documents apparently released under the EU’s freedom-of-information laws show that a November meeting between Swedish financial and environmental regulators and the European Commission’s digital-policy arm discussed banning trading in crypto assets such as bitcoin that use the proof-of-work technique.

An unnamed attendee said that bitcoin should be encouraged to move towards a more environmentally friendly alternative such as proof-of-stake, as rivals such as Ethereum have done, and didn’t “see [the] need to ‘protect’ the bitcoin community.”

Parts of the document have been redacted to protect individual privacy or due to “ongoing decision-making process,” suggesting that policy is still being developed on the topic. Swedish officials have previously made it clear that they want to ban the technology for environmental reasons.

A separate document suggested discussions were still ongoing in February, and were also joined by German environment ministry officials.

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