• In late 2022, Hydro-Quebec proposed to stop selling cheap power to cryptocurrency miners.
• Manitoba announced plans to halt any new electric grid connections for cryptocurrency mining operations for 18 months.
• British Columbia made efforts to stop mining growth to assess the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining.
In late 2022, Canada began to take steps to regulate the cryptocurrency mining sector in several of its provinces. In a move that shook the industry, Hydro-Quebec, the largest electricity producer in Quebec, proposed to stop selling cheap power to cryptocurrency miners. The proposal called for the Canada Energy Regulator to suspend the allocation of 270 megawatts requested by miners.
In the neighboring province of Manitoba, the government announced plans to halt any new electric grid connections for cryptocurrency mining operations. The suspension would last 18 months, starting in November of 2022, to allow for review of the externalities from the mining industry’s energy demands. To implement the suspension, the province put a halt on all new requests for grid connections from 17 different operators, while leaving the 37 currently-operating mining facilities unaffected.
Finally, British Columbia took steps to assess the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining. Specifically, the province made efforts to stop mining growth and investigate potential issues of pollution and other adverse consequences.
The moves by these three provinces suggest a tightening regulatory environment for cryptocurrency miners in Canada. While no formal laws have been passed yet, the industry is already feeling the effects of the provinces’ increased scrutiny. As a result of these measures, miners may need to look to other regions to expand their operations.