Quebec Gov’t to lift moratorium on energy sale to cryptocurrency miners
Cryptocurrency miners in Quebec have been suffering from the moratorium imposed by the government. Earlier in March 2018, the Quebecois government had put a ban on supplying electricity to crypto mining companies.
Quebec Premier Phillipe Couillard had told cryptocurrency miners that the state-owned Hydro-Quebec will not be providing them cheap electricity anymore. The reason being that there wasn’t enough power to meet the demand of cryptocurrency mining.
Local news, Le Journal De Montreal said on May 30th that there have been new developments in this case. They suggest that government of Quebec plans to lift its moratorium on the sale of electricity to cryptocurrency miners.
Pierre Moreau, the Minister of Energy will present a decree on regulation of electrical power sale to cryptocurrency miners. This regulation not only lifts the moratorium, but also seeks to work with these companies. Crypto miners will be supplied with electricity with the caveat that Hydro-Québec will do “forced load shedding” during peak times.
Meaning when the power grid is stretched to capacity, power to miners will be cut off. So they could lose power for up to 100 to 300 hours per year.
Other than the forced load shedding, the decree will also set different rates for electricity supplied to the miners. Marc-Antoine Pouliot, spokesperson for Hydro-Québec said,
“Having interruptible customers during these critical periods makes it possible to connect more. [Hydro-Québec’s mandate] is to ensure the implementation of cryptocurrencies in Quebec by maximizing economic benefits and ensuring the stability of our electricity supply.”
Reports suggest the move to lift the moratorium is because the Quebec government wants to “avoid missing the ship” on cryptocurrency. This move will prove to doubly beneficial for Quebec. First it ensures that mining doesn’t come at the expense of homes and other businesses. Secondly, it might lead to Quebec becoming the epicenter of the cryptocurrency mining industry when it’s still nascent.
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