Canada Cracking Down On Bitcoin Mining?

What is going on with Bitcoin mining in Canada? The North American nation is not oddly (sadly, Canada is not much of a bastion of freedom in current times) beginning to hamper mining as all new requests for grid connections are being suspended:

North America became the leading hub of bitcoin mining activity after China’s abrupt ban in May 2021. While the United States has grabbed most of the news headlines and a significant portion of investor attention, Canada has also solidified its role as a global leader in mining. From industrial mining farms to off-grid guerrilla mining operations, Canada is home to miners of all stripes.

But the final months of 2022 saw several provinces target bitcoin miners and suspend any new grid connections while “environmental assessments” were initiated. This article provides an overview of the localized changes in regulatory posture toward miners.

In late 2022, Hydro-Quebec announced its proposal for the province to stop selling cheap power to cryptocurrency miners, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The proposal called for the Canada Energy Regulator to suspend the allocation of 270 megawatts requested by cryptocurrency miners. Bitcoin miners in Quebec already recognize that local regulations are too restrictive for easy growth, but this new proposal could make mining in the province even harder.

Right after Thanksgiving, Manitoba announced its plans to halt any new electric grid connections for cryptocurrency mining operations. The suspension will last 18 months from November 2022 to allow for a review of the externalities from the mining industry’s energy demands, according to the province’s finance minister. The 37 currently-operating mining facilities in Manitoba will not be affected for now. But recent requests for new connections from 17 different operators have been suspended, according to CBC.

Just before Christmas, British Columbia made headlines for its efforts to stop mining growth to assess the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining operations. An 18-month moratorium has been placed on accepting any new requests for electrical grid connections exclusively from bitcoin mining companies. The province said at the time that 21 applications that were pending approval have been suspended. Assessing how bitcoin mining affects the province’s “environmental goals” is the stated reason for B.C.’s 18-month suspension.

Before these grid connection limitations, Canada had long stood as a global hub for cryptocurrency growth generally and bitcoin mining activity in particular, with a loose estimate of 7% of global hash rate operating within its borders. But several localities are starting to make miners feel not so welcome. Two is a coincidence, three is a trend, as the adage says.

All the way at the top of the Canadian government, the current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has made it no secret that he frowns on the entire cryptocurrency industry. After his conservative counterpart Pierre Poilievre voiced strong support for Bitcoin, Trudeau wasted no time firing back by calling his rival’s views “irresponsible” and cryptocurrency “volatile.” From his personal Twitter, however, Trudeau has never tweeted about crypto, bitcoin or mining.


Master Asked on January 5, 2023 in Bitcoin.
Add Comment