Months after being identified as a hotspot for crypto miners, the Canadian province of Quebec suspended approvals for any new cryptocurrency mining projects on Thursday, June 6. The province may resume acceptance of new crypto mining projects after it has taken the necessary time to consider placing restrictions on their operations and raise electricity rates.
In a statement, Quebec Energy Minister Pierre Moreau said that the new rules are intended to welcome only “the best among the [crypto mining] companies” to the province; Hydro-Québec Distribution President Eric Filion stated that the rules are intended to protect Quebec residents from having to pay higher rates for the electricity they use.
Miners Have Asked for 17,000 Megawatts; Quebec Wants to Give them 500
Reuters reported that the government of Quebec began the suspension when the state-owned Hydro Quebec power plant requested that the province limit the total amount of power available to all crypto miners in the region to 500 megawatts; crypto miners have requested 17,000 megawatts for their purposes.
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Hydro Quebec has also asked Quebec’s energy board to consider placing a premium on energy sold to cryptocurrency miners to maximize the province’s profits.
Applications for the establishment of mining rigs in Quebec from firms in China and other countries have surged after many of the world’s governments began placing restrictions on the amounts of electricity that crypto miners are allowed to use. Quebec’s availability of (mostly) sustainably-produced, inexpensive electricity combined with its political stability has made the region a very attractive option for foreign crypto miners.
Canada Doesn’t Want to Lose an Opportunity
The announcement of the suspension comes just a week after Quebec lifted a ban that prevented energy companies from providing any electricity to crypto-mining operations. The province’s government was reportedly concerned that the ban went too far, and stifled the growth of the crypto industry in Canada.
Instead, “having interruptible customers during these critical periods makes it possible to connect more,” said Marc-Antoine Pouliot in a statement to Bitcoin Magazine. The mission of Hydro Quebec is to “ensure the implementation of cryptocurrencies in Quebec by maximizing economic benefits and ensuring the stability of our electricity supply.”