Québec Offers Low-Cost Electricity for Bitcoin Mining

Québec wants to attract cryptocurrency miners by offering them cheaper electricity. Major companies like the idea because some blockchain mining activities use huge amounts of power, and Canada is offering a cheaper and cleaner energy option. At the same time, China might stop Bitcoin mining. China is concerned about problems related to energy use, the environment, and financial risks in the crypto industry so the Chinese government is imposing restrictions on crypto mining. Due to unclear regulations, cryptocurrency miners are seeking alternative locations with more favourable conditions. Consequently, an increasing number of miners are turning their attention to Canada.

Château Frontenac, Rue des Carrières, Québec, QC, Canada
Château Frontenac, Rue des Carrières, Québec, QC, Canada – Photo by Nathan Feyssat on Unsplash

Québec Offers Affordable Bitcoin Mining Rates

Québec is becoming an attractive destination for Bitcoin mining due to its affordable electricity rates, which are among the lowest in North America. The main energy provider, Hydro-Québec, initially set aside 368 megawatts of discounted energy for crypto miners. An extra 300 megawatts of energy are now available to attract new projects, bringing the total to 668 megawatts.

In Québec, more and more people are using cryptocurrency in different ways. Firstly, there’s a rise in crypto casinos, where people can gamble anonymously using digital currencies such as Ripple which is faster, cheaper, and safer than many other cryptos or fiat options. Second, many businesses in Québec accept cryptocurrencies, commonly Bitcoin, as a form of payment for goods and services including restaurants, car dealerships, and even luxury jewellery stores. Lastly, Québec also has Bitcoin ATMs. These machines make it easier for people to buy cryptocurrencies using cash or debit cards.

Criteria for New Mining Projects

New mining projects interested in Québec have to submit applications outlining their plans for the region. Companies that want discounted energy will be assessed based on creating jobs, planned investments, and heat recovery strategies. They must propose a plan for heat recovery to offset the energy waste generated by mining activities. Hydro-Québec believes it can attract important projects even with these conditions.

Shift from China to Canada

With China considering a ban on cryptocurrency mining, many miners are looking for alternative locations. China used to be a big player in the blockchain industry, but now Canada, specifically Québec, is taking over. Québec is already home to many important companies in this field. According to the director of Hydro-Québec business development, David Vincent, Quebec has at least three or four of the world’s top five largest blockchain players. Bitmain, one of the largest names in Bitcoin mining, has been eyeing Québec for expansion. According to a company spokesperson, Bitmain has been looking into potential sites in the region.

Moreover, Québec’s advantageous energy rates are not only beneficial for cryptocurrency mining but also for other online ventures like online casinos. Québec’s cheap electricity can make online casinos more profitable. Online casinos rely on servers, and data centres, and need a consistent electricity supply to operate. This ensures that gamers can access them without interruption. If they operate in Québec, they can save money on operational costs, which makes them more profitable.

Québec’s Changing Stance on Bitcoin Mining

The recent initiative by Québec’s energy authority marks a significant change from its previous stance on Bitcoin mining. Last year, Régie de l’énergie approved a price hike for Bitcoin miners. The authority temporarily halted new mining applications and approved a price hike on energy rates for miners which saw energy rates almost double. Recently, there has been a change in how people view Bitcoin mining in Québec. Before, there were concerns, but now the situation is different. Miners are getting special low electricity rates, which puts them at the same level as big data centres and manufacturers. More people are gaining confidence in and embracing Bitcoin.

Québec’s offer of affordable electricity rates from renewable sources is drawing in cryptocurrency miners. This is happening especially because China is considering banning Bitcoin mining encouraging miners to seek more stable and environmentally friendly alternatives.