Hydro-Québec to Stop New Cryptocurrency Mining Projects in Province

Hydro Québec

Today, the province of Québec made the announcement regarding Hydro Québec that I have been waiting for this entire month.

What Happened?

It all started on March 4, when I reported that the Canadian province is unsure of whether Hydro-Québec can power all of the projects interested in cryptocurrency mining in the province. Similar to Iceland, Québec has transformed into an international hot spot for cryptocurrency mining, bringing in more than 30 applications to mine in the province in January. As profitable and exciting as this may seem, it’s actually quite worrisome as the demand is starting to exceed the province’s supply.

On Friday, March 23, Québec confirmed that it has, for the time being, halted the development of new cryptocurrency mining projects in the predominantly French-speaking province. Why? Exactly for the reasons mentioned above: Hydro-Québec can’t power new projects due to the increasing demands of existing operations.

At the start of the month, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard stated that the Québec government is not interested in providing cheap electricity to virtual currency miners through Hydro-Québec. Couillard then went on to say that if people want to set up cryptocurrency mining projects in the province, there has to be “added value for our society.” Today, the province’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Pierre Moreau, said that crypto mining involves the use of a lot of energy, and it does not generate enough jobs in comparison to other factories in Québec.

It appears Hydro Québec itself agrees. The state utility published a report of its own today, stating that it is not possible to power every cryptocurrency mining project that has requested to set up in the province. Therefore, the most logical answer is to just halt all of the incoming projects, for the time being, so Québec can get back on its feet.

What do you think? Was this the right move?

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