British Columbia’s utilities commission has put a temporary hold on new power connections for cryptocurrency mining operations after extreme electricity usage led to a shortage of supply in certain parts of the province. The move is intended to spur further study into ways to manage future growth in the industry and ensure that it doesn’t negatively impact BC Hydro customers.
British Columbia is clamping down on cryptocurrency mining amid extreme electricity usage, in a move that could put a crimp in the province’s ability to attract new miners.
In a notice published online and distributed to industry stakeholders, the British Columbia government said it will halt new power connections for cryptocurrency mining operations as of July 2019. The move comes as concerns mount about the impact of crypto mining on electricity usage and the environment.
British Columbia Stops New Connections
The notice explained:
“The explosive growth in this industry has led to an unprecedented increase in demand for electricity, which has strained BC Hydro’s ability to keep up with supply.”
While the BCUC has been asked to prepare a report by Oct. 27 outlining potential limitations for power connections for cryptocurrency mining operations, the moratorium itself will last until May 31, 2019.
This means that in order to expand their mining operations in British Columbia, companies must submit an application for review and approval by the government before they can be connected to BC Hydro’s network.
The provincial government is considering granting new approvals only if power demand from crypto miners does not exceed 2 percent of total capacity on any given day or 5 percent annually—unless there are significant benefits associated with such expansions or if they are approved under special circumstances.