Crypto mining has been a contentious issue in many regions, and New Brunswick, a Canada-based electricity provider, seems no exception. The province’s electric utility, NB Power, imposed a moratorium on providing new service to cryptocurrency mining operations last year, citing concerns about its ability to meet the increasing demands from the power-hungry sector.
The utility has temporarily held all new large-scale, short-notice requests for electricity and new requests from cryptocurrency miners due to the “significant pressure” they put on the province’s electricity supply.
Details On The Moratorium
Information about the prohibition of providing electricity services to crypto miners is in a cabinet order dated March 1, 2022. According to the cabinet, the moratorium is indefinite, and Crown-owned NB Power has been directed to review the industry and submit its findings by December 31, 2022.
The cabinet document confirms that NB Power received numerous service requests from cryptocurrency mining companies, which were not disclosed in the cabinet document.
The cabinet order referred to the Electricity Act of the province, which requires that the government ensure that NB Power operates in a reliable, safe, and economically sustainable manner.
The move has been seen as necessary to ensure the province’s electricity supply remains reliable and sustainable. Still, it is sure to have a significant impact on the crypto-mining industry in New Brunswick.
Impact On The Crypto Mining Industry
The moratorium on electricity requests by NB Power will undoubtedly impact the cryptocurrency mining industry in New Brunswick. According to the CBC report, Vancouver-based Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd. announced it would pay $25 million in shares to acquire GPU Atlantic Inc. in February 2021.
Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd, a publicly traded crypto miner, had announced that it would acquire GPU Atlantic Inc., which was running a crypto mining data center and a 50-megawatt substation in Grand Falls, N.B. At the time of acquisition, Hive had claimed to deploy advanced Bitcoin mining hardware that would benefit from the industry’s cheapest electricity prices.
The move by NB Power will likely deter other cryptocurrency mining companies from setting up shops in the province, as they may be unable to secure the necessary electricity supply.
While the indefinite moratorium may be necessary to ensure that the province’s electricity supply remains reliable and sustainable, it may also be a blow to the crypto-mining industry, which has been growing rapidly in recent years.
The cryptocurrency mining industry is known for its energy-intensive operations, with some estimates suggesting that Bitcoin mining alone consumes more energy than in some countries.
However, efforts are underway to make crypto mining more sustainable, such as using renewable energy sources like hydropower, wind, and solar power. The move by NB Power could be seen as a wake-up call for the crypto-mining industry to adopt more sustainable practices.
Notably, NB Power’s moratorium on electricity requests from crypto mining companies is a significant move that will have far-reaching implications for the industry in New Brunswick.
While the move may be necessary to ensure the province’s electricity supply remains reliable and sustainable, it could also be a blow to the growing crypto-mining industry.
Meanwhile, regardless of the news circulating in the industry, the cryptocurrency market has maintained composure. Over the past 24 hours, the global crypto market cap has surged by 0.8%, with the total value above $1.2 trillion.
Featured image from Coinbase, Chart from TradingView