Bitcoin Miners' New Connections Suspended in BC

Bitcoin Miners' New Connections Suspended in BC

For the next 18 months, the province of British Columbia will not approve any new applications to connect cryptocurrency mining facilities to the province's electrical grid.

To “support the province's climate action and economic goals,” BC Hydro, the state-owned electric utility provider in the Canadian province of British Columbia, has temporarily held new electricity connection requests from cryptocurrency miners for the next 18 months.

"Cryptocurrency mining consumes massive amounts of electricity to run and cool banks of high-powered computers 24/7/365, while creating very few jobs in the local economy,"

In a press release issued on Wednesday, Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Osborne made the previous statement.

Bitcoin Miners' New Connections Suspended in BC

Bitcoin miners who have yet to connect to the grid or are still in the process of doing so would be the ones hit hardest by the suspension. Existing Bitcoin miners and those “well advanced in the BC Hydro's connection process” would not be impacted. Bitcoin has been criticized by environmentalists who point out that its network consumes as much energy as some small countries.

British Columbia's hydropower, which generates about 87% of the province's electricity according to the Canada Energy Regulator, has attracted “unprecedented interest” from crypto miners, the provincial government claims. According to the government, BC Hydro is currently providing 273 MW of power to seven crypto-mining operations, with another six in the advanced stages of connection. In addition, 21 projects have approached the province requesting permission to use 1,403 MW of power annually, enough to supply energy to 570,000 homes or 2.1 million electric vehicles for an entire year. At this time, we will pause the processing of all such requests.

Bitcoin Miners' New Connections Suspended in BC

Quick Facts:

  • BC Hydro serves seven cryptocurrency mining operations, with six more in advanced stages of connection to the system, totaling 273 megawatts.
  • In November 2022, the Manitoba government suspended new connections to the electricity grid for cryptocurrency mining while it analyzed the potential for a regulatory framework for approving significant connections to the grid.
  • After suspending cryptocurrency mining connection requests to study its effects on electricity supply, Hydro-Québec implemented a new framework for cryptocurrency service that includes higher rates and a cap on the amount of electricity available for cryptocurrency mining.

Learn More:

To learn more about the potential implications of unchecked growth of cryptocurrency mining operations, read a new report from BC Hydro titled Crypto conundrum: Why cryptocurrency mining could challenge B.C.’s clean transition:

Bitcoin Miners' New Connections Suspended in BC

Concerns that cryptocurrency operations have a high environmental toll by drawing massive amounts of electricity with little economic payoff led to the decision, which follows a similar move by the province of Manitoba last month. Hydro-Quebec plans to take the same approach and has asked the provincial regulator to halt the process of allocating energy to cryptocurrency miners as of the beginning of November.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this site should be construed as a financial investment recommendation. It’s important to understand that investing is a high-risk activity. Investments expose money to potential loss.



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