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British Columbian Government Suspends New Crypto Mining Power Requests

  • BC Hydro, a British electricity utility is putting an 18-month pause on cryptocurrency requests.
  • The pause is aimed at giving the government time to assess how the industry is affecting the province’s economic and environmental goals.

The British Columbia government has announced that it will halt all new requests from cryptocurrency miners for the next 18 months. The move is designed to help preserve the province’s clean energy for its residents and businesses, and to develop a permanent framework for regulating cryptocurrency mining.

Minister of Energy Josie Osborne said the government is concerned about the “unprecedented level” of requests for cryptocurrency mining operations in the province. She said that these operations could strain the available energy supply and lead to higher electricity prices for residents.

The British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines and Low Carbon Innovation estimates that 21 crypto miners are currently requesting 1,403 megawatts of power. This is enough energy to power 570,000 homes or 2.1 million electric vehicles per year.

BC Hydro, the province’s main electricity distributor, currently offers power to seven crypto-mining projects. Six more projects are in the advanced stages of connecting to the grid and will not be affected by the suspension. These projects consume 273 megawatts of power.

The government says it will work with BC Hydro to develop a permanent framework for regulating cryptocurrency mining. This framework will take into account the province’s clean energy goals, the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, and the need to protect consumers.

The announcement comes as the cryptocurrency industry is under increasing scrutiny for its environmental impact. Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, is estimated to consume more energy than Finland each year.

The government’s decision to halt new crypto mining requests is a significant step towards protecting British Columbia’s clean energy for its residents and businesses. It is also a sign that the government is taking the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining seriously.

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