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  • Writer's pictureConnie Chan

British Columbia Suspends New Crypto Mining Operations

In recent times, crypto mining has been receiving a lot of attention owing to how energy-intensive the process is. On that same note, British Columbia has now become the third Canadian province to introduce restrictions on crypto mining.

In the past few weeks, utilities in Quebec and Manitoba have introduced the same kind of restrictions on crypto-mining activities. This Canadian province has imposed an 18-month-long moratorium on new crypto-mining operations, mentioning that no new crypto-mining operations will receive approval for the aforementioned time frame.

The announcement was made through a statement on December 21. It stated that this halt will help the government and the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro) form a permanent framework. This framework will ensure and safeguard the needs and interests of residents, businesses, and crypto miners in the province.

More Electricity Being Diverted To Crypto Mining

Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation stated that this decision was taken to ensure the preservation of clean energy for consumption by residents and businesses which will facilitate further employment and is way more environmentally sustainable. Osborne stated, that the electricity is meant to direct for “electric vehicles and heat pumps, and for businesses and industries that are undertaking electrification projects that reduce carbon emissions and generate jobs and economic opportunities.”

He also said: 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. Currently, BC Hydro supplies its service to a total of seven crypto-mining operations. Out of the seven operations, six are in the advanced stages of connection to the system which consumes a total of 273 megawatts. These operations, however, will not be affected.

New Crypto Mining Processes Shall Not Be Approved At the moment, in total, 21 projects have requested a total of 1,403 megawatts (MV) in the province, which is equal to the energy needed by 570,000 homes or 2.1 million electric vehicles. The new crypto-mining projects, on the other hand, will be unable to begin the process of connecting with BC Hydro. Additionally, the projects that are in the early stages of the connection process will not be permitted to move ahead either.

Environmental activists have been concerned about the impacts of crypto mining on the environment. They have spoken against Bitcoin and its energy-intensive processing and energy expenditures. The energy consumption has even been compared to that of an entire country.

The Bitcoin network runs on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, which takes up plenty of energy as Bitcoin miners have to compete to solve cryptographic puzzles that help to secure the blockchain while earning rewards for their efforts.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


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