A proposal to ban energy-intensive proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining in Norway was rejected by most lawmakers. The ban was proposed by the extreme left-wing Red Party, which also did not support the idea of raising the electricity tax for cryptocurrency miners.
Norway will not ban bitcoin mining
The Norwegian Parliament has considered and voted against a bill banning the mining of digital currencies based on the proof-of-work concept. The bill, proposed by the Communist Red Party in March, was supported only by two other leftist parties, SV (Socialist Left Party) and MdG (Green Party).
“We are clearly disappointed that there is a majority here,” Red Party lawmaker Sophie Markhaug told E24 news portal. She added that Norwegian society needs to set its priorities regarding the use of electricity. Her party argues that bitcoin mining is extremely energy-intensive and insists on emphasizing the needs of other industries and climate change goals.
However, as Markhaug noted, the majority in the Storting, Norway’s legislature, wants to prioritize the market and “provide a bill to Norwegian electricity consumers.”
The Reds also failed to garner support for a proposal to revise electricity charges for mining data centers, accusing the Labor Party (Ap) and the Centre Party (Sp) of breaking an election promise. The two parties have announced that they will push for full electricity charges for mining farms.
While households, many businesses and the public sector currently pay 0.15 kroner (about $0.02) per kilowatt hour of electricity spent, industry, including data centers, enjoy a preferential tax of only 0.0055 kroner per kWh.
In February, the Norwegian government said it would try to avoid imposing a ban on cryptocurrencies, but made it clear it was considering various measures regarding electricity consumption in the sector. In November, Norway admitted that 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 a time of energy scarcity and emissions reduction problems, it is especially harmful that energy is spent only to enrich individuals rather than being used for socially useful purposes,” the three leftist parties said. However, the parliamentary majority opposed politically motivated discrimination against mining processing centers.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons