The Canadian economy has seen robust growth in 2017 at around 2% with December seeing an “unexpectedly large increase in jobs,” according to reuters.
They further report Hydro Quebec can not keep up with energy demands from crypto miners, which are moving into the province due to its cold weather lowering cooling demands for heated miners.
“We won’t be able to power all the projects that we’re receiving,” Hydro Quebec spokesman Marc-Antoine Pouliot told reuters before further adding: “This is evolving very rapidly so we have to be prudent.”
They are now re-analysing their strategy after receiving increased interest, with miners’ enquiries doubling to 70 in a week.
“This is the tip of the iceberg as only a fraction of the initiatives have reached out to Hydro Quebec yet,” said Laurent Feral-Pierssens, executive director of emerging technologies at KPMG Canada.
The province has 100 terawatt hours of spare capacity over the next 10 years, with one terawatt hour powering 60,000 homes, but the energy intensive mining process might place a strain.
Bitmain, bitcoin’s biggest miner, is searching for sites in Quebec after China, in effect, asked miners to leave the country.
Billions now are on the move and, perhaps surprisingly, it is Canada that might be benefiting from all that influx of new money.
Bitcoin miners make some $7 billion a year from just block rewards based on current prices, with that income recently briefly doubling due to very high fees.
They usually mine other digital currencies as well, like ethereum or Bitcoin Cash, making it a very lucrative industry indeed.
Not least because Bitmain manufactures the miners too, hiring hundreds of researchers, factory workers, and so on, with offices across the world.
However it is not clear whether they will be moving their manufacturing process too, or just the factories, but China has increasingly grown hostile to this space, so driving out billions of dollars in a late Christmas gift to Canada.