Québec Reverses Ban On Selling Power To Cryptocurrency Mining Companies

Not wanting to miss the crypto boat, Québec’s government decided to resume selling power to crypto mining companies ahead of schedule.

On Wednesday Le Journal de Montréal reported that the March 2018 ban on selling electricity to cryptocurrency miners has been lifted. This comes sooner than the 90-day expiration date originally set for the ban, at the behest of Pierre Moreau, Quebéc’s minister of energy, and the Canadian government.

Mining cryptocurrency takes a massive amount of power. In May, ETHNews reported on an academic paper written by economist Alex de Vries, who concluded that by the end of 2018, the cryptocurrency industry could use as much power as a small nation. The ban on selling electricity to crypto miners was intended to alleviate the strain on electricity provider Hydro-Quebéc and limit costs to private homes and businesses.

The newly-issued decree stipulates that cryptocurrency mining companies will be charged a different rate from entities that use less power, and that Hydro-Quebéc will be allowed to practice “forced load shedding.” This means at peak times when the energy capacity of Hydro-Quebéc is stretched to its limits, mining farms will be the first to have their power cut off in order to prevent homes, businesses, and institutions like hospitals from losing power. This practice will likely cause cryptocurrency mining operations to go dark 100 to 300 hours every year.

Hydro-Quebéc spokesman, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, spoke about the ban being lifted, stating:

“Having interruptible customers during these critical periods makes it possible to connect more … [The Mandate’s purpose] is to ensure the implementation of cryptocurrencies in Quebéc by maximizing economic benefits and ensuring the stability of our electricity supply … We’ve been waiting a long time.” 

Nathan Graham is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews. He lives in Sparks, Nevada, with his wife, Beth, and dog, Kyia. Nathan has a passion for new technology, grant writing, and short stories. He spends his time rafting the American River, playing video games, and writing.

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