There are places where regulators are already concerned about the growing number of crypto miners. In fact, one of the reasons for this is the amount of electricity needed in order to keep things running. In order to meet the growing computational power requirement in mining cryptocurrencies, crypto miners make use of energy extensive machines that collectively use as much energy as Ireland according to one study.
Change of Heart on Crypto Mining Again?
Recently, the government of Quebec had a change of heart when it comes to crypto miners looking for a place where they can operate. And this was good news for many crypto miners since Canada is a great place to start mining operations.
However, Quebec authorities again changed their mind. Quebec on Thursday announced that it has halted the approvals for new crypto mining projects. The reason is the possibility of raising the rates that they pay for power.
The state-owned power generator Hydro Quebec asked the provincial government if it is possible to limit the digital currency miners to block of 500 megawatts. To give you an idea just how much power that is, that is already enough to power an aluminum smelting plant.
The firm also asked the province’s energy board just how much they’d be charging the miners in order to maximize the revenue that they can make with their electricity. And for these reasons, Quebec’s energy ministry has ordered Hydro Quebec to postpone connection to any new mining operations.
Surge in Applications
Not only did China become strict on crypto trading, their regulators are also looking at crypto mining operations. And for this reason, there are many companies from China and other countries trying to take advantage of two things that Quebec can offer. One, you have the cheap electricity that comes from the hydroelectric power plant. And two, you have the cold weather in the province that can help even bring the cost of crypto mining further down.
According to Hydro-Quebec Distribution President Eric Filion, the rules are meant to also protect the residents of Quebec. This will allow the expansion of the crypto mining industry without causing the power rates to hike up for the residents.
However, Eric Filion also said that the blockchain industry is promising. However, there should be the existence of new guidelines that will define the new category of electricity consumers. And also, there will be a block of energy that will be reserved for them.
According to Quebec energy minister Pierre Moreau, “The measure 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 create spinoffs throughout Quebec, while ensuring energy supply for all Quebecers”.
Cryptocurrency mining is a serious matter today. In fact, a study entitled “Bitcoin’s Growing Energy Problem” mentioned that the power demand among Bitcoin miners could triple before 2018 ends. But is this really a serious concern? Keep in mind that during the 1990s, there were also computing experts who claimed that half of the power grid in the US would be solely dedicated to keep the internet up.