Quebec government will allegedly lift its moratorium on electricity’s sale to cryptocurrency miners. Sources privy to the matter told local news Le Journal De Montreal. The government plans to lift the moratorium so as not to be left out on cryptocurrency.
Just like Iceland, Quebec is proving to be an international hotspot for cryptocurrency mining. In January alone 30 applications to mine in the province had been made. In spite of this being a potentially profitable venture, it is feared that the power demand may soon exceed the province’s supply.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency mining require powerful computers which in turn consume a lot of energy. It is for this reason that Pierre Moreau, Energy minister, will table a proposal to his colleagues of a decree that will regulate the sale of energy to the cryptocurrency miners. Earlier in the year, the minister had warned against Hydro-Quebec’s total production being consumed by the cryptocurrency industry.
The fears do not seem far-fetched as evidence shows that requests by more than 100 organizations have been made seeking to purchase power from Hydro-Quebec. The total energy required by these companies exceeds 10TWh. Hydro-Quebec is able to generate a surplus of about 13TWh from its approximately 60 hydroelectric generating stations.
In a recent interview Hydro-Quebec’s CEO Eric Martel admitted that the company never anticipated such a huge increase in demand. He went further to say that he expected to sell about 5TWh to the mining sector.
That interview was picked by international media which circulated it across the world leading to the numerous requests by mining companies. This also led to the huge energy demand. At this point, Pierre Moreau made a statement saying that the government had to ensure that it controlled this type of business.
According to the alleged decree, different rates for digital currency miners will be set. In addition, the said decree will also companies supplying energy to practice forced offloading. This means that the companies will cut off power to miners during the 100-300 hours per year when the power grid is at maximum capacity.
Two months ago, the Quebec government made it clear that it had no intentions of providing cheap electricity to Bitcoin miners. It said that offering the discounts would not be beneficial to the local economy.