by Gil Davis
Popular destinations for large-scale crypto-mining operations include at the top of the priority list that of cheap electrical power to maximize profits. Areas in the Northwest of the US have been inundated with these operations recently, but also the Canadian province of Quebec.
As a relatively new sort of business, cryptocurrency mining draws a lot of resources from wherever it is located. The Quebec government is highly wary of allowing these potential fly-by-night operations from setting up within their borders; so much so, that they have put an order to cease the development of any new mining setups for the time being.
At first glance, this may seem a bit harsh, what company doesn’t want more business? However, some of these mining operations are using over 5000 percent of the electricity of a standard household, similar to that of a smelting factory while providing very few jobs to the economy.
Furthermore, the Canadian government is quite wary of technological change, and big business operating on a new and unproven currency is quite out of their wheel-house. A recent attempt to ban Uber from operating within the country or the increased taxation on the cloud services hosted by web giants in Canada are a recent example of the Canadian governments heel-dragging when it comes towards technological advancement.
Fear of getting into large contracts with these businesses and then the crypto-market having the bottom drop out of it is one of the reasons reported, but even more is the concern that the energy demands of the citizens of the province will fail to be met if energy consumption continues to increase as it has been.
Officials are working on new guidelines for mining operations in Canada to avoid this sort of catastrophe, and though their fears may be founded at least partially in ignorance of new technologies, it’s not entirely unreasonable to be wary of an entirely new type of business cropping up and using up that much electricity. Ideally, they’ll work through these issues immediately, and the new operations incoming to Quebec will be up with little delay.
Still, the miners will move elsewhere if they cannot bid for spots within Quebec and it may prove to be a massive mistake as long as crypto-mining proves to be a profitable venture. Hopefully, a middle ground can be met that is profitable for both parties without leaving the common citizen out, literally, in the cold.