Canada’s affair with Bitcoin mining appears to be slightly schizophrenic. In southern B.C., near Castlegar, DMG Blockchain Solutions, is putting the finishing touches to its new mining operation. The exact location of the thousands of rigs is a secret, but what they are doing is not. The computers are used to confirm bitcoin transactions and the miner, DMG in this case, is paid the digital currency in return for its services.
“You can kind of think of it like Visa and Mastercard and how they sort of sit as an intermediary between the bank and a transaction that somebody that has a card would do,”
Inside DMG’s 27,000-square-foot bitcoin mine, which employs about 20 people but is still ramping up. Bennett says most mining operations are based in China, but he suspects that’s changing. He says many operators are showing interest in other countries, including Canada. This is particularly true in Quebec and Manitoba, home to an abundant supply of cheap, clean hydro power.
However earlier this week, Hydro-Quebec warned that there won’t be cheap power available for every company that wants relocate to the province and suggested it may even set a higher tariff for cryptocurrency miners. On Friday, the government, the utility’s owner, questioned mining companies’ contribution to the province’s economy.
Premier Philippe Couillard said at a conference in Montreal Friday:
“If you want to come settle here, plug in your servers and do Bitcoin mining, we’re not really interested. There needs to be added value for our society; just having servers to do transaction mining and acquire new bitcoins, I don’t see the added value.”
The Premier said he’s more open to companies that would help create:
“a real eco-system or a real technological transformation centered on blockchain,”
That includes companies that use cryptocurrencies to finance their projects.