Quebec Attracts Cryptocurrency Miners with Inexpensive Hydropower

November 20, 2017
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Quebec is increasingly becoming a location of interest for bitcoin miners. The Canadian province offering inexpensive electricity and cold winters providing inexpensive cooling.

Also Read: Chinese Bitcoin Miners Explore Relocating Abroad Amid Fears of Crackdown

A Young Canadian Entrepreneur Told Local Media That Quebec Is Becoming a Hotspot for Mining

Mr. Bertrand runs approximately 50 ASICs in a warehouse on the outskirts of Montreal. Each unit consumes approximately 90¢ CAD (roughly 70¢ USD) daily, yet can produce a revenue of approximately $600 CAD ($470 USD) monthly. The inexpensive power costs are attributed to an abundance of hydropower in the province, which, Mr. Bertrand claims, is attracting the interest of major mining companies from China and Iceland.

Hydro-Quebec, a state-owned enterprise based in Montreal, manages the distribution of power throughout Quebec. It is estimated that more than 40 percent of Canada’s water resources are located in the province, resulting in Hydro-Quebec comprising the fourth largest producer of hydropower in the world. Although the average price of residential power in Quebec is 5.82¢ CAD (4.56¢ USD) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), Hydro-Quebec recently announced that it will introduce an ‘Industrial Revitalization Rate‘ from April 1st, 2018. Once in effect, the new rate will provide electricity to companies requiring “at least 500 [kilowatts] in additional demand” for 3.30¢ CAD (2.58¢ USD).

Quebec’s Inexpensive Power is Attracting Miners from China

A growing number of Chinese bitcoin miners have begun to explore alternative locations in which to base their operations, amid rising concerns that the Chinese central government may seek to extend its recent cryptocurrency crackdown to target bitcoin mining. Radio-Canada recently reported that “a dozen major Asian players in the cryptocurrency industry have contacted Hydro-Quebec, as they are looking for a place to install their huge computer centers.”

Eric Filion, Hydro-Quebec’s Vice President of Customers, has confirmed the report, stating “these are really big players who contact us… The Bell Center in Montreal consumes the equivalent of 5 megawatts of power. The players who contact us [consume] from 5 megawatts to several hundred megawatts of power.”

What do you make of reports that major mining companies have directly contacted Hydro-Quebec? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Hydro-Quebec.


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