No Legal Basis to Ban or Limit Bitcoin Mining

The European Commission has confirmed that it is paying attention to concerns about rising electricity consumption for cryptocurrency mining in the European Union, according to European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, who oversees digital economy and society. According to a notice on the European Parliament website, Gabriel addressed the issue in response to a question posed to the parliament.

The Commission, Gabriel noted, is aware of the concerns on growing electricity consumption for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in general.

The issue is especially critical for bitcoin, for which mining is concentrated in China. While two-thirds of all mining takes place in China, according to some estimates, some amount of mining takes place in other places.

There is currently no legal basis to prevent or limit energy consumed within the EU, the statement noted. But given that electrical consumption is an economic activity, it is subject to EU rules that apply to energy efficiency, the power sector and greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector are covered by the EU emission trading system.


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