Kraken Dismisses Rumors of Tether (USDT) Delisting in Europe

Kraken announced that it has no plans to delist Tether (USDT) in Europe despite regulatory uncertainties it faces with the upcoming Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) framework. Kraken seems committed to listing USDT while some of its competitors like OKX and Binance have taken steps to delist it. MiCA, effective from June 2024, aims to provide a comprehensive regulatory framework for the crypto sector in the EU, focusing on stablecoins. Meanwhile, Venezuela banned crypto mining to manage energy consumption, and the EU also warned Microsoft of potential fines over AI-related compliance issues.

Kraken Navigates MiCA Uncertainty

Kraken stated it has no current plans to delist Tether (USDT) in Europe despite the recent reports suggesting that the firm was considering this move to stay legally compliant. Mark Greenberg, Kraken&'s global head of asset growth and management, confirmed on May 18 that Kraken still lists USDT in Europe and has no plans to delist it at the moment.

Greenberg also shared that Kraken will adhere to all legal requirements, even those it does not agree with.

A Bloomberg article from May 17 indicated that Kraken was &quot;actively reviewing&quot; its plans to comply with the European Union’s upcoming Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) framework. Marcus Hughes, Kraken’s global head of regulatory strategy, stated that the firm is preparing for many scenarios, including the possibility of delisting certain tokens like USDT. He also mentioned that Kraken will make more firm decisions as the regulatory position becomes more clear.

The MiCA rules applicable to stablecoins will come into force on Jun. 30, with broader crypto service provider rules taking effect on Dec. 30. Kraken&'s competitor, OKX, delisted USDT in Europe in March, and Binance announced similar plans last September, but it has not yet followed through with these plans just yet.

In April, Kraken ended support for the Monero privacy token (XMR) for its customers in Belgium and Ireland. Despite these regulatory challenges, Kraken still continues to expand its services in Europe. It also recently secured a virtual asset service provider registration in Spain and the Netherlands, as well as an electronic money institution license in Ireland.


The European Union’s MiCA regulation is set to take effect in 2024, and will be the first comprehensive regulatory framework for the crypto sector in a major jurisdiction. This regulation has been complimented by many people in the industry, including France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who described it as a landmark initiative that will end the &quot;crypto Wild West.&quot; Former Binance CEO Changpeng &quot;CZ&quot; Zhao also praised the clear regulatory guidelines it provides for crypto exchanges.

Overall, MiCA plans to provide legal certainty for businesses and attract more investment to the region. It will apply to 27 countries that collectively represent almost one-fifth of the global economy.

MiCA’s 150-page framework is modeled on existing EU securities trading rules but is specifically tailored for the unique aspects of the crypto sector. Companies offering crypto services like custody, trading, portfolio management, or advice have to be authorized by one of the EU’s 27 national financial regulators.

Additionally, those offering crypto assets to the public are required to publish clear and fair white papers that include details about potential risks without misleading buyers. While MiCA adopts existing financial regulations to fit innovative crypto instruments, it allows for the publication of white papers before regulatory approval and it also includes provisions to prevent market abuse and insider dealing.

A large portion of MiCA focuses on stablecoins and addresses some of the risks that were thrust in the spotlight after the volatility of the terraUSD stablecoin in 2022. Stablecoins, referred to as “e-money tokens” (EMTs) when linked to fiat currencies and “asset-referenced tokens” (ARTs) otherwise, must hold appropriate reserves and comply with very strict governance standards.

Tokens that are not pegged to an EU currency will face restrictions like a ban on over 1 million transactions per day to prevent them from challenging the euro’s dominance. The regulation also covers algorithmic stablecoins and requires them to maintain value through automated coding. National regulators in the EU will primarily enforce these rules.

Microsoft Faces $2B EU Fine

Crypto regulation is not the EU’s only focus. Microsoft could be facing potential fines of up to 1% of its annual revenue in the EU if it fails to respond to a request for information by May 27. This request was made under the EU&'s Digital Services Act and concerns Microsoft&'s Bing search engine and its associated generative artificial intelligence (AI) services.

The European Commission shared in a May 17 post on X that it is looking for information about the generative AI risks associated with Bing as there have been some concerns over potential issues like AI hallucinations, deepfakes, and automated service manipulation that could mislead voters.

The Commission explained in a blog post on its official website that the initial request was sent on May 14, focusing on risks from Bing’s generative AI features, including &quot;Copilot in Bing&quot; and &quot;Image Creator by Designer.&quot; Microsoft now has until May 27 to comply with this request.

The warning includes the possibility of fines up to 1% of Microsoft’s total annual income and periodic penalties up to 5% of its average daily income if the request is not met by the deadline. While a 1% revenue fine may not seem too severe, for Microsoft it could amount to over $2 billion based on its self-reported 2023 revenue of $211 billion. This figure could increase even more if Microsoft&'s revenue grows in 2024.

Despite the warning, Microsoft has not been found guilty of violating any EU laws related to this notice. Instead, this notice appears to be a formal request for a bit more information with potential consequences if it is ignored.

Venezuela Bans Crypto Mining

Meanwhile, Venezuela&'s government announced that it plans to disconnect crypto mining farms from the national grid mostly due to their excessive energy consumption and because the government wants to ensure a stable power supply for the population.

The Ministry of Electric Power wants to offer more efficient and reliable electrical service across the country by eliminating the strain caused by high-energy-consuming mining operations. This decision comes after a recent crackdown in Maracay, where authorities confiscated 2,000 crypto mining devices as part of an anti-corruption initiative. Venezuela’s National Association of Cryptocurrencies confirmed the prohibition of crypto mining in the country in an X post.

As part of the larger anti-corruption effort, several top officials have already been arrested, including Joselit Ramírez, the former head of the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets. Rafael Lacava, governor of Carabobo state, asked the public to help in detecting illegal mining operations. Venezuela has experienced many blackouts, particularly since 2019, which has greatly impacted residents&' daily lives and the economy.

This is also not the first action against crypto mining in the country. In March of 2023, the country&'s energy supplier shut down mining facilities nationwide during corruption investigations involving the state oil company.

Now, Venezuela joins other countries like China and Kazakhstan, which have already implemented stringent regulations or bans on crypto mining due to its hefty electricity demands.

Mining&'s Massive Impact

In 2020 to 2021, Bitcoin mining consumed 173.42 terawatt hours of electricity, placing it 27th in global energy consumption. This means it ended up surpassing countries like Pakistan, which has a population of over 230 million. The carbon footprint of this energy usage was equivalent to burning 84 billion pounds of coal.

According to a study by the United Nations University, offsetting this carbon footprint would require planting 3.9 billion trees, covering an area almost as large as the Netherlands, Switzerland, or Denmark.

Professor Kaveh Madani shed some light on the unintended environmental consequences of technological innovations, with Bitcoin being a prime example. The research revealed that Bitcoin mining during this period was heavily reliant on fossil fuels, with coal accounting for 45% and natural gas for 21% of the energy supply. Renewables like solar and wind contributed only a small fraction of the electricity used for mining.

The Bitcoin Mining Council now claims the industry has become much more environmentally friendly, stating that 59.9% of the electricity used by its members came from sustainable sources in the first half of 2023. Unfortunately, these figures are very hard to verify and only represent a portion of the overall network.

At the time of the 2021 UN study, China was the leading Bitcoin mining nation, but it has since been overtaken by the US after China&'s crackdown on mining. Collectively, the top 10 Bitcoin mining countries were responsible for 92% of the climate footprint associated with Bitcoin mining.

This article was originally posted on Coinpaper.com -> Click here to read the article there.

Latest Posts: