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Bitcoin, Ether fall as EU considers crackdown on energy-intensive crypto mining

Bitcoin and Ether both fell in Wednesday morning trading in Asia amid news the European Union is considering a bill to restrict the mining of energy-intensive cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Most of the rest of the cryptocurrency top 10 by market capitalization, excluding stablecoins, also declined, with the exception of Polygon.

See related article: Bitcoin, proof-of-work ban removed from European Union’s MiCA

Fast facts

  • Bitcoin dropped 1.1% in the past 24 hours to trade at US$19,345 as of 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, while Ether fell 1.6%% to US$1,311, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
  • The EU measure would grade cryptocurrencies by energy consumption to encourage the use of less power-hungry blockchain systems, such as proof-of-stake, the system that Ethereum now uses post Merge, according to a report by Bloomberg. The grading system, aimed at curtailing global warming, could potentially reduce demand for Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, which relies on the energy-intensive blockchain system known as proof-of-work.
  • The EU had considered passing legislation earlier this year that would have banned cryptocurrencies that rely on proof-of-work entirely as part of the Markets in Crypto Assets legislation, however, it removed language relating to the ban from the bill at the last minute. The energy-use of cryptocurrencies is contentious, with digital-asset investment house CoinShares releasing a report in January that said Bitcoin mining accounted for less than 0.08% of global CO2e emissions.
  • Polygon was the only top ten token to gain ground, rising 2.1% to US$0.86, following the announcement Tuesday that the network is now hosting 53,000 decentralized apps, eight times what it had at the start of the year.
  • U.S equities finished up on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index both closed 1.1% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.9%.
     
  • These gains follow better-than-expected third-quarter earnings from banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. of US$3.1 billion — down from US$5.4 billion a year before but above the expected US$2.9 billion. Goldman Sachs shares rose 2% on Tuesday. This follows similarly strong earnings from Bank of America Corp. on Monday which also drove equities higher. 

See related article: Mastercard to let banks offer crypto services to clients

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