Canadian City Balances Energy Demands With World's Largest Bitcoin Mining Farm

This week, the grand opening of the largest bitcoin farm in the world was overshadowed by a statement from the city that they would be temporarily shut down in event that a heat wave overloaded capacity. BitFury and Hut 8 set up the mining farm in Medicine Hat, Canada with the expectation that they would be welcome in a region that is known as a top energy producer.

Over $100 million has been invested in the giant mining operation, with 56 shipping containers spread over a 4.5 hectare plot. The bitcoin farm consumes roughly the same amount of electricity as the entire Medicine Hat City, which is home to over 60,000 people, generating 20 bitcoins a day in the process.

Andrew Kiguel, Hut 8’s CEO made the following statement:

Medicine Hat has enough power capacity to service both Hut 8's load and the city's load through a heat wave, without any blackouts. In the event of equipment failure, the load to Hut 8 would be curtailed, as is standard for any industrial power producer.

Andrew Kiguel

Despite the heat wave caveat, Medicine Hat mayor Ted Clugston seemed generally welcome to crypto in an interview given at the mining farm on Monday. Clugson admitted that he knows very little about cryptocurrency, but said that he was happy to sell BitFury and Hut 8 electricity. Still, he feels that the industry is nonessential, and will be the first to get cut off in cases of emergency or scarcity.

Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Hut 8 said that people who have lost faith in traditional banking institutions see crypto as an extremely valuable tool. Kiguel stated :

Bitcoin was created during the financial crisis. It has really served a purpose in terms of providing the opportunity for people who don't necessarily trust their government or their central banks.

Andrew Kiguel

The mayor has received pressure from groups concerned about the amount of energy that the bitcoin farm would use. However, there are many misconceptions behind fears of cryptocurrency representing an environmental danger.

Critics argue that cryptocurrency mining operations could make better efforts to use sustainable energy sources, however, proponents of the technology insist the energy consumption is smaller than traditional banking and credit card companies. It has even been calculated that Bitcoin mining uses less electricity annually than seasonal Christmas lights .

As CryptoGlobe recently reported, Bitfury, one of the companies behind the mining farm, revealed a new ASIC chip that they touted as being, “unparalleled in performance and efficiency.”

Cryptocurrency advocates say that the temporary shutdown of even a large bitcoin mining operation such as Medicine Hat would have a minimal impact on the network, because it comprises a very small portion of the global distributed hashrate.

Hash Wars: Mining Operation OrcaPool Launches to Defend Altcoins and Forks From ‘Attackers’

A new mining operation dubbed “OrcaPool” has recently been launched, with the goal of defending altcoins and forked coins from attackers who may attempt to pull 51% attacks on them. Specifically, the pool appears to be a response to SharkPool.

At the time of Bitcoin Cash’s hard fork last year, a new cryptocurrency mining pool, SharkPool, was launched. The pool, founded by Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) supporter Ari Kuqi, threatened to annihilate “alts who dare bearing the Bitcoin name,” and specifically named Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, and Bitcoin Private.

SharkPool’s plan to annihilate cryptocurrencies is to dominate their hashrate to then start mining empty blocks on their chains. This stops transactions from going through, which over a long period of time creates a significant transaction backlog, making their network useless. The second part sees it sell the rewards it gets from those blocks for BSV, pushing its price up and putting selling pressure on the attacked crypto.

So far, SharkPool has seemingly attacked BCH’s testnet forcing it to add additional security resources, and Bitcoin Private’s (BTCP) mainnet, forcing cryptocurrency exchanges to require 1,500 network confirmations on transactions.

Speaking to CryptoGlobe, Kuqi revealed that behind SharkPool’s ideology is Nakamoto Consensus. Per his words, nothing the pool does is “illegal,” as it “obeys all laws and regulations.” He added “miners execute their executive power by voting with their hash, building on a block or orphaning it.”

At the time Kuqi, the founder of Cashpay Solutions, also noted it doesn’t matter whether Craig Wright is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto, as SharkPool “fights for sound and stable money.” The pool has over the past few months been recruiting miners.

Now OrcaPool, on Twitter, has revealed its goal is to counter SharkPool’s activities, and that it’s also recruiting miners to join its resources. Its website explains the Orca was chosen as it’s a natural predator of the shark.

The new pool is reportedly going to sell the rewards of blocks it mines for bitcoin. So far, the war between the two pools has seemingly only been occurring on social media. SharkPool, reacting to the competitor, stated:

As onlookers piled on, OrcaPool pushed back: