According to the EU Commissioner for digital economy and society, cryptocurrency mining is absolutely legal in Europe and must obey the standard rules of energy consumption. In a statement issued last week, Maria Gabrielle (Mariya Gabriel) has expressed concern over the increased consumption of cryptocurrency hashing, clarifying the regulatory status of the industry. Gabriel said:
«If the energy consumed for these activities shall be in accordance with the law, there is no legal reason to prohibit or even limit it… Because of the cryptocurrency mining is not illegal activity, until now, the Commission does not monitor the amount consumed by the power industry».
However, as energy-intensive economic activities mining must obey the EU rules concerning «energy efficiency, energy sector and greenhouse gas emissions,» she added. Gabriel noted that the European Commission will continue to analyze the growing impact of cryptocurrency on energy consumption and demand.
It is unclear what amount of bitcoins are mined within the EU. Gabriel stressed that the majority of the world mining is still concentrated in China, despite the hints
regulators, not just showed by their actions that soon will be unable to be taken prohibitive measures for this industry.
As recently reported in the edition of the Washington Post, Iceland, which generates most of its electricity through hydropower, is now developing promising projects in the sphere of mining cryptocurrencies. Iceland is a full member of the EU but part of the European economic area. According to the calculations of some experts, mining cryptocurrency consumes about 0.14% of the total number of the world’s electricity.