Erik Thedéen, a leading European Union financial regulator, thinks the EU should ban the system used to mine bitcoin due to energy use concerns, according to a Financial Times report Wednesday (Jan. 19).
Thedéen, speaking with the media outlet, said there should be a ban on “proof of work” crypto mining because the energy use was becoming a problem in his native Sweden.
“Bitcoin is now a national issue for Sweden because of the amount of renewable energy devoted to mining,” Thedéen told the FT.
Bitcoin reportedly consumed 0.6% of the world’s electricity, per reports from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.
According to Swedish regulators, Europe will have to ban bitcoin to hit the 1.5C Paris climate goal. The regulators called it an “irony” if the wind power generated on Sweden’s coastline ends up going to bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin and ether are both minted through the proof of work system, which gives incentives to miners to use more computing power and electricity to validate blockchain transactions and earn tokens.
In related news, a list of witnesses testifying before the Energy and Commerce Oversight Committee about the energy usage of bitcoin mining features several industry professionals.
The hearing will be held on Thursday (Jan. 20), with Bitfury CEO Brian Brooks set to appear, along with Soluna Computing CEO John Belizaire, whose company leverages portable bitcoin mining machines to help out with the demand and supply of power grids to help renewable energy providers.
Ari Juels, a professor from Cornell Tech who wrote in a crypto paper in 2016 about how smart contracts might be used for criminal activities, is also set to appear.
Additionally, Steve Wright, former CEO of the Chelan County Public Utility District and Bonneville Power Administration, and Gregory Zerzan, a shareholder with Jordan Ramis, will both be in attendance.
The hearing will seek to get a better understanding of bitcoin’s power consumption and why there’s a need for it.
It comes after a collection of national and international climate organizations sent a letter to lawmakers about how proof of work mining could be trouble for the climate in the long run.