The interview is an excerpt from the BTC-ECHO Experts podcast of July 20, 2022.
BTC-ECHO: What bothers the Greens so much about Bitcoin?
Rasmus Andresen, MEP: We don’t mind anything about Bitcoin at first, but we think that there are a few questions that need to be clarified by politics at the regulatory level as well. This applies not only to Bitcoin, but to cryptocurrencies as a whole – although one can certainly distinguish between them. Cryptocurrencies are simply a topic that is becoming increasingly important and concerns a lot of people. The consequences have to be discussed in a democracy.
BTC-ECHO: A bill supported by the Greens, among others, contained a passage that would have banned the trading of proof-of-work currencies such as Bitcoin. That sounds like quite an aversion to me.
Rasmus Andresen: This is exactly one of the examples of the fact that we, as politicians who deal with social issues, also have to discuss the effects of cryptocurrencies. What are the effects of technologies on the environment? This is not only a topic that concerns us very much in relation to the crypto area, but it is a big topic in politics as a whole. Politics must also deal with issues such as energy efficiency.
BTC-ECHO: When it comes to efficiency and power consumption, you could also regulate power generation. Would electricity consumption be a problem if the energy came from renewable sources? The problem is rather the CO₂ emissions of Bitcoin mining. Shouldn’t the EU simply promote green mining?
Rasmus Andresen: We are dealing very intensively with the consequences of energy policy. The Ukraine conflict in particular has made the issue even bigger. We live in a time when energy supply is a problem. We need to see if we can even make it through next winter. Especially at a time like this, it’s not just about looking at where we can get as much renewable energy as possible, but it’s also about efficiency. After all, the less energy we consume, the easier it will be to break away from fossil energy. That is why there are certainly connections between efficiency and the question of the conversion and expansion of renewable energies – that is why, in my opinion, we have to discuss this together.