Crypto at a crossroads: Some provinces are wary of the technology’s vast appetite for electricity | CBC News

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Canadian provinces have placed limitations on new cryptocurrency mining projects due to concerns over their energy usage. Clean, inexpensive electricity in regions like British Columbia and Quebec has drawn entrepreneurs focused on Bitcoin mining to Canada. Cryptocurrency mining requires unfettered access to cheap power to operate high-powered computers, and proponents say the industry can create economic prosperity and job opportunities in regional towns impacted by the decline of industries like pulp and paper mills. However, British Columbia and Manitoba have paused new crypto hookups, while Hydro-Québec has set higher rates and an electricity usage cap for mining projects. Ontario has proposed excluding crypto miners from an incentive program that could save them money on electricity. Although Canada is currently the fourth largest contributor of computing power to the blockchain network, uncertainty surrounding access to electricity may impact the country’s position in the industry. Advocates of cryptocurrency have raised questions about Canada’s willingness to engage with the sector and the future of new investment in the country. B.C. Energy Minister Josie Osborne argued that the province’s energy should be allocated to ensure it is put to the best use and to achieve climate goals.

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