Against the proposal to ban Bitcoin mining in the EU

Last weekend, a debate about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, energy efficiency, climate change, and institutions took place in Sweden. It was started by the director generals of the Swedish Financial Supervisor Authority and Environmental Protection agency arguing in favor of forbidding mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are operating on the Proof of Work (PoW) system.

From the article

After their article, five articles have been published with arguments and opinions against those presented by the director generals. I have written a summary of the debate that includes the first two articles. In this post, I am writing a summary of my own article in daily Dagens Nyheter.

  • It is hard for governments to impose a ban on Bitcoin or on Bitcoin mining that will be efficient in practice. Proposals for the ban on cryptocurrencies remind of 2000s debates and decisions to ban file sharing and downloads av via Pirate Bay.
  • Cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin are important for personal freedom and human rights. Individuals as in Venezuela and Afghanistan could use Bitcoins that could be mined in northern Sweden.
  • In the future, as towards the 2030s, cryptocurrencies will be a vital part of humans' everyday life regarding social, economic, and ecological interactions.
  • There is a lot of valid and fact-based criticism against Bitcoin. The Bitcoin network and operating system is indeed very energy consuming and “climate unfriendly”. However, a ban is not the solution since the solution is, among other things, that more Bitcoin miners switch to using climate-friendly alternatives and also that the Bitcoin community itself becomes better in decentralized community democracy and governance.
  • Euros, American dollars, and Swedish krona are also used for criminal, terrorist, and climate unfriendly activities, at a higher degree than Bitcoin.
  • Cryptocurrencies do not demand any government “rescue packages”, corrupted and misbehaving actions. Directors as Thedéen and Risinger show that government officials are afraid of losing power. This is because decentralization removes “the middle-men” as banks and governments and makes it easier for humans to cooperate, create their own communities and solutions.
  • The director argues that, for example, Ethereum has a better mining system (PoS = proof of stake) than Bitcoin. However, the case is that there are even better systems that are more energy-efficient and climate-friendly than Tezos and Seeds.
  • The EU should not impose a ban on cryptocurrencies, as, for example, Cina did. Because the EU needs cryptocurrencies for a better economy, welfare, and democracy. Europeans should have their freedom and human rights respected, better possibilities for businesses and entrepreneurship, and that the EU could attract miners from other parts of the world and compete with China.

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