An attempt to ban energy-intensive proof-of-work mining of cryptocurrencies in Norway has been rejected by a majority of lawmakers. The ban was proposed by the Red Party, which did not gain support for raising electricity prices for cryptocurrency miners.
Norway will not ban bitcoin mining
The Norwegian Parliament reviewed and voted against a draft bill banning the issuance of digital currencies based on the Proof of Work (PoW) concept. The bill, proposed by the Communist Party’s Red Party in March, was supported only by the other left-wing parties, the Socialist Left Party (SV) and the Green Party (MdG).
“We are clearly disappointed by the majority here,” Red Congressman Sofie Marhaug told the E24 news portal. She added that Norwegian society should prioritize its use of electricity. Her party argues that Bitcoin mining is extremely energy intensive and should be focused on the needs of other industries and climate change goals.
But, as Marhaug points out, the majority of Storting, the Norwegian legislature, wants to put the market first and “submit a bill to Norwegian electricity consumers.”
Red also failed to gain support for a proposal to revise electricity surcharges for mining data centers, accusing the Labor Party (Ap) and the Center Party (Sp) of violating pre-election promises. Both parties have announced that they will demand full electricity rates for the mining farms.
Homes, many businesses, and the public sector currently pay 0.15 kroner (about $0.02) per kilowatt-hour of electricity used, but the industry, including data centers, enjoys a reduced levy of 0.0055 per kWh.
In February, the Norwegian government said it would try not to impose a cryptocurrency ban, but made it clear that it is considering various measures regarding electricity consumption in the sector. In November, Norway admitted it was considering ways to limit the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining, and could support Sweden’s proposal for a European ban on proof-of-work mining.
“In an era when energy is scarce and it is difficult to reduce emissions, it is especially detrimental for power to be wasted only to enrich individuals and not be used for social gain,” the three left-leaning parties said. However, a majority in Congress opposed politically motivated discrimination against mining data centers.
What do you think of the Norwegian debate over the future of the crypto-mining industry? Share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.
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