In a joint statement, the directors-general of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has called for a total ban on proof-of-work mining of cryptocurrencies within the EU. However, Sweden’s state-owned power company has publicly come to Bitcoin’s defence, claiming that it could potentially balance the load on power grids.
According to the statement, crypto miners have taken an interest in the Nordic region because of the easy access to renewable energy that it provides. The statement added that crypto is not in Sweden’s interest because the country “needs the renewable energy targeted by crypto asset producers for the climate transition.” It also needs it for the country to be able to meet the Paris Climate Accords Goals.
The statement went on to explain, “Energy-intensive mining of crypto-assets should therefore be prohibited.” It also described the supposed social benefit of crypto as “questionable”.
The statement called on the EU to ban proof-of-work mining throughout the region. The statement concluded, “A ban on the proof-of-work mining method within the EU could be an important first step in a global move towards greater use of more energy-efficient crypto mining methods. It would also mean that our renewable energy is used as efficiently as possible in order to support the transition towards climate neutrality.”
Support for crypto mining
Vattenfall, Sweden’s state-owned power company, has pointed out that crypto mining is not necessarily a problem. In fact, the company has pointed out that it has the potential to be a solution to some of the challenges that energy producers are faced with.
Vattenfalls’ Head of Physical Power Management, Henrik Juhlin, said that crypto mining represents an ideal way to balance the load on electric grids, particularly when the power supply varies. This is currently the case in Sweden and any country that relies on renewable power sources.
Juhlin said, “[The crypto miners] can both reduce and increase their consumption [of energy]. It can work as a buffer, so to speak, for the production of energy.” He went on to explain that miners can consume electricity whenever there is a surplus and switch off their machines when there is a shortage of electricity. This makes it an effective tool for grid management.