Quebec Uninterested In Bitcoin Mining Operations Without “Added Value”

Francisco Memoria
  • Quebec Premier stated it isn't interested in bitcoin mining operations
  • The region's largest utility company, Hydro-Quebec, may not have enough power to meet demand, and may increase tariffs for cryptocurrency miners

Quebec’s Premier Philippe Couillard recently poured cold water on bitcoin miners looking to move their operations to the Canadian region, as he revealed it isn’t interested in bitcoin mining operations without any “added value” for its society.

Last year, China’s cryptocurrency crackdown forced various bitcoin mining operations to consider moving. While some decided to go with countries like Iceland, some were eyeing Quebec. As reported by Bloomberg, Hydro-Quebec, the largest utility company in the province, received “hundreds of applications” from crypto miners looking for special deals.

The company’s CEO, Eric Martel, stated:

“There’s a real craze for Quebec. I’ve got new LinkedIn friends from Russia, China and many other places. The phone has been ringing off the hook.”

Eric Martel

Quebec can help bitcoin mining operations reduce electricity costs, as the region boasts some of the lowest power costs in North America thanks to nearby dams. Hydro-Quebec, according to reports, has excess power it needs to sell.

Yet Hydro-Quebec’s owner – the government – seemingly poured cold water on bitcoin miners looking to relocate. During a conference in Montreal, Premier Phillipe Couillard stated:

“If you want to come settle here, plug in your servers and do Bitcoin mining, we’re not really interested. There needs to be added value for our society; just having servers to do transaction mining and acquire new bitcoins, I don’t see the added value.”

Phillipe Couillard

The company’s total capacity is around 37,000 megawatts, and cryptocurrency miners reportedly asked for a total of well over 9,000 megawatts.

Adding the power consumed by bitcoin miners to the power the region’s population and industry demand means the company doesn’t have what it takes. Couillard, as such, even suggested it may set a higher tariff for cryptocurrency miners.

The lawmaker added, however, that he’s open to companies that could create “a real ecosystem or a real technological transformation centered on blockchain.” Per his words, these companies could even use cryptocurrencies to finance their projects.

If bitcoin miners stop seeing advantages in relocating to Quebec, they’ll likely just set up shop somewhere else. Countries like Iceland, for example, are already home to various bitcoin mining companies. Recently, one of the biggest thefts in the country saw criminals take 600 bitcoin miners from data centers in the country.