Following a debate over language that would have essentially banned bitcoin, a vote on the European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation is set for next week.
As CoinDesk reported Monday (March 7), the vote by the Monetary Committee of the EU Parliament is set for March 14.
The parliament had been expected to approve the legislation last month, but that vote was put on hold over complaints from crypto industry advocates who objected to phrasing in the proposal that threatened to ban crypto companies from relying on energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) mining.
That language, introduced by members of the Left, Greens and Social Democrats parties, would have blocked companies from offering services for the purchase, custody and trading of PoW-based crypto assets. PoW refers to a system that requires steps to prevent malicious or frivolous uses of computing power, such as spam.
“An independent topic of proof-of-work is no longer provided in the MiCA,” parliament member Dr. Stefan Berger told CoinDesk, sticking to his pledge to remove language he had called a “de facto” ban on bitcoin.
“My suggestion is to include crypto assets, like all other financial products, in the taxonomy area,” he said. “In view of the controversial discussions surrounding the energy consumption of crypto assets, the taxonomy could provide clarity and ensure a better information basis for consumers.”
Berger added, “Strong support for MiCA is a strong signal from the EU Parliament for a technology-neutral and innovation-friendly financial sector.”
MiCa bars stablecoins from being offered to the public or added to a traded platform for crypto assets “unless the issuer is authorized in the EU and publishes a ‘white paper’ approved by the national competent authority (NCA).”
In addition, the legislation also establishes conduct obligations for stablecoin issuers, and establishes requirements for potential marketing communication and ongoing information obligations, such as the obligation for issuers to create a complaint-handling procedure.