The European Parliament has postponed voting on a measure regulating crypto assets due to a controversy about proof-of-work

The European Union’s parliament has postponed a critical vote on its long-awaited cryptocurrency market legislation in response to outcry from the cryptocurrency community.

MiCA, or the Markets in Crypto-Assets Directive, was scheduled for a vote on February 28 that would transfer it from the European Parliament into discussions with the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, placing future amendments in doubt.

However, Stefan Berger, head of the Economics Committee and the motion’s rapporteur, has postponed the vote, Berger’s office said today.

According to a person familiar with the directive’s deliberations, the key area of controversy was late-stage revisions that some perceived as prohibitions on proof-of-work networks, especially due to worries about their energy consumption. Following bad news coverage and an outpouring of support on Twitter, lawmakers on the right and centre-right withdrew support for the newest revisions.

Berger said on Twitter that “as rapporteur, it is critical for me that the MiCA Directive is not read as a de facto Bitcoin prohibition.”

Since 2019, the directive has been under development. The European Parliament’s most recent modifications have not been made public. According to a February 21 draught obtained by The Block:

“It is therefore critical to emphasise the importance of consensus mechanisms for the deployment of more environmentally friendly solutions and to request that the Commission identify those consensus mechanisms that may pose a threat to the environment in terms of energy consumption, carbon emissions, resource depletion, electronic waste, and incentive structures. Unsustainable consensus techniques should be used sparingly.”

Many in the cryptocurrency sector appreciated the postponement. “Delaying the vote is the correct course of action since some major concerns in the law remain unsolved,” Seth Hertlein, global head of policy at Ledger, a Paris-based wallet maker, told The Block. “Europe’s financial competitiveness in the future is contingent on getting MiCA right.”

However, as Patrick Hansen, director of strategy and development at Berlin-based Unstoppable Finance, said, the duration of this process is unknown.

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