BC Hydro Pauses New Electricity Connections for Cryptocurrency Miners, Citing Environmental Concerns

Hydro has recently paused new electricity connection requests from cryptocurrency miners for 18 months. this suspension would target miners who have yet to connect to the grid and those that were in the early stages of getting hooked up, while existing bitcoin mining operators and those who are “well advanced in the bc hydro’s connection process” would not be affected. environmentalists have criticized bitcoin for its energy expenditures, with many comparing the network’s consumption to that of entire countries.

Decision was made in response to unprecedented interest from crypto miners and was taken last month in british columbia, canada. according to the canada energy regulator, about 87% of british columbia’s electricity is generated by hydropower. bc hydro is currently serving seven crypto-mining operations and has six in the advanced stages of connection, totaling 273 megawatts of power. the province is facing requests from 21 projects with a projected power usage of 1,403 megawatts, which is enough energy to power 570,000 homes or 2.1 million electric vehicles for a year.

Decision to suspend new electricity connection requests from cryptocurrency miners was taken in order to protect the environment and the local economy. the bitcoin network relies on the proof-of-work (pow) consensus algorithm, which requires plenty of energy as bitcoin miners compete to crack cryptographic puzzles and keep the blockchain secure while earning rewards for their efforts. the move follows a similar one taken by the province of manitoba last month and hydro-quebec looks to follow the same avenue, too, asking the provincial regulator at the beginning of november to suspend the energy allocation process to cryptocurrency miners. creating very few jobs in the local economy, the decision was made to protect the environment and the local economy.


By Evey Lovelace

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