Canada’s Quebec Halts Crypto Mining Activity, Raises Power Consumption Fees

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Canada’s Quebec Halts Crypto Mining Activity, Raises Power Consumption Fees
Photo: Pixabay

Quebec’s low-cost energy supply has attracted crypto-miners from around the globe causing unprecedented demand for crypto mining activities.

Canada’s Quebec province has decided to halt cryptocurrency mining operations temporarily within the city, so that it can continue to supply the electricity to all the households and businesses operating within the province. According to the press release, Canada’s biggest electricity utility, Hydro-Quebec, is currently facing an unprecedented demand from different blockchain companies, which is exceeding its short-and-medium term capacity.

The press release mentions that Quebec wants to give its officials some time in order to develop new restrictions and rules concerning increasing the cost of power consumption. Hydro-Quebec said that it has asked its province to limit the total power usage for crypto miners at 500 MW. This is equal to energy consumed by a single aluminum smelting plant and a is very small fraction of the 17000 MW power demand by all the miners operating in the province.

Quebec’s energy ministry has recently asked Hydro Quebec accommodate new digital currency mining operations until the time the regulators bring new rules for the industry. Pierre Moreau, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources said:

“The measures announced today represent a responsible, prudent and practical approach to welcome top businesses from the blockchain tech sector, to contribute to the economic development of other sectors and to create spinoffs throughout Québec, while ensuring energy supply for all Quebecers.”

After China completely banned crypto mining operations from taking place within the country, a lot of mining companies fleed to Quebec while taking the benefits of the province’s low power rates.

In a statement, Éric Filion, President of Hydro-Québec Distribution said:

“The blockchain industry is a promising avenue for Hydro-Québec. Guidelines are nevertheless required to ensure that the development of this industry maximizes spinoffs for Québec without resulting in rate increases for our customers. We are actively participating in the Régie de l’énergie’s process so that these guidelines can be produced as quickly as possible.”

However, this is not the first time that Quebec is stopping registrations from new crypto mining firms. Earlier this year in March, Hydro-Quebec stopped accepting new clients from the crypto mining space citing huge demand by the miners. At that time, the firm gave the reason that it would not be able to meet the demand if all the mining projects that have applied were approved.

“In coming days, Hydro-Québec will file an application with the Régie de l’Énergie proposing a selection process for blockchain industry projects in light of the concerns expressed by the Québec government in its Order-in-Council. The application will highlight the importance of rapidly moving forward so as not to miss the opportunities offered by this industry,” the press release also mentions.

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