Erik Thedéen, vice president of the European Securities and Markets Authority, has raised concerns about the increasing use of renewable energy for bitcoin mining.
Thedéen said so in a recent interview with the Financial Times Bitcoin (BTC) mining has become a “national issue” and warned that cryptocurrencies could pose a risk to the body’s climate change goals.
He urged European regulators to make a special exception for proof-of-work mining, which is primarily used by Bitcoin and some other fork altcoins. He also advocated proof-of-stake as a better energy-efficient alternative:
“We need to have a discussion about moving the industry to more efficient technology.
Addressing the growing call for a November 2021 ban on PoW mining, Melanion Capital, a Paris-based alternative investment firm, called it “completely misinformed.”
The investment firm said that due to Bitcoin’s decentralized nature, there is no lobby or group defending its interests, which “should not be taken as an opportunity to take measures that make an industry illegal due to a lack of defenses”.
The energy consumption of the Bitcoin network has been one of the most controversial topics in 2021, with Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey and Michael Saylor taking part in several debates. Tesla even shut down the bitcoin payment option, citing the bitcoin network’s energy consumption. But unlike Thedéen, So far, most critics have had no problem with the use of clean energy. Musk has claimed that if 50% of Bitcoin’s network power comes from renewable sources, Tesla would reconsider adding a Bitcoin payment option.
China’s bitcoin mining ban in May last year proved to be a boon to the ecosystem, as it not only unraveled the highly centralized bitcoin mining industry, but also helped spur a move towards renewable energy use. According to the Bitcoin Mining Council’s Q3 report, the Bitcoin network’s renewable energy usage reached 58% in Q3 2021.
Global Sustainable Energy Index. Source: BMC report