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British Columbia suspends new electricity connections for crypto miners

Canadian province British Columbia has paused new electricity connection requests from cryptocurrency miners for 18 months to support the province’s climate action and economic goals.

See related article: Bitcoin mining difficulty drops more than 7% as cash crunch hits miners

Fast facts

  • The Government of British Columbia said it hopes the suspension will ease power restraints for the province while its main electricity distributor, BC Hydro, is given more time to establish a permanent regulatory framework for crypto mining by engaging with the local industry.

  • “Cryptocurrency mining consumes massive amounts of electricity … while creating very few jobs in the local economy,” said Josie Osborne, the energy minister of British Columbia.

  • British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation says 21 crypto miners are currently requesting a total of 1,403 megawatts, which can power around 570,000 homes per year.

  • Seven existing crypto mining projects and six more that are already advanced in the electricity connection process will not be affected by the suspension, the ministry said. They consume 273 megawatts in total.

  • About 87% of British Columbia’s electricity is generated by hydropower, which has attracted “unprecedented interest” from crypto miners, according to the province.

  • The restrictions will help support CleanBC, British Columbia’s campaign that encourages various local industries to pursue cleaner operations to reduce carbon emissions, the government said.

See related article: Satoshi’s other big legacy: Bitcoin is propelling a green energy revolution

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