Québec Offers Electricity to Cryptocurrency Miners in Exchange for Jobs

Cryptocurrency mining entities will also have to pay more for electricity.

The Canadian province of Québec has made a proposal to cryptocurrency miners.

The local government had been forced to address the issue of “electricity consumers using cryptography as applied to blockchain technology” because they were demanding more electricity that it could supply, according to a press release.

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It temporarily halted electricity supply to cryptocurrency mining operations on the 7th of June, just a week after a total ban was lifted. At the time, Hydro-Québec President Éric Filion said: “The blockchain industry is a promising avenue for Hydro-Québec. Guidelines are nevertheless required to ensure that the development of this industry maximizes spinoffs for Québec without resulting in rate increases for our customers. We are actively participating in the Régie de l’énergie’s process so that these guidelines can be produced as quickly as possible.”

The government said that the decision was taken “so that the company can continue to fulfil its obligations to supply electricity to all of Québec,” claiming that the demand exceeded the short and medium-term capacity of Hydro-Québec, which is the region’s electricity supplier.

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The government asked the local energy watchdog, Régie de l’énergie, to consider how this category of customer could be supplied in the future; it recognises the economic benefits of supplying electricity for this industry, from revenue for Hydro-Québec to more general job creation.

It noted that these enterprises would need to be supplied separately (“a reserved block of energy”). Hydro-Québec would be responsible for selecting candidates.

Hydro-Québec has now made proposals regarding the process by which mining companies will be selected. It proposes setting aside 500 megawatts for this industry (according to Reuters, cryptocurrency miners had requested 17,000 megawatts), increasing the price of electricity for mining entities by at least 1 cent per kilowatt hour, and measuring the real number of jobs that will be created per megawatt.

It will also request that these entities decrease their electricity usage by a maximum of 300 hours a year, and will favour customers that can begin operations quickly.

Canada is a popular destination for cryptocurrency mining operations because the cold weather is good for the mining computers which generate considerable heat.

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