Chinese Bitcoin mining farms may be heading to Canada.

The move comes amidst fears of a government crackdown on Bitcoin mining in China. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) told local officials to regulate power consumption of miners, reported Reuters. PBOC did this in an effort to reduce Bitcoin production.

Officially, the PBOC has no jurisdiction to regulate power consumption. However, they do have the ability to influence the local governments that do have the power. Officials are also concerned that the power drain from Bitcoin farms is affecting the quality of their service to citizens in the surrounding areas.

This move may also be part of China’s overall plan to crack down on digital currency.

In September of 2017, China announced it would be forcing Chinese digital currency exchanges to shut down. The announcement sent a wave of fear through the Bitcoin community causing the price to temporarily plummet.

The true cost of cheap power

Electricity is the major cost of Bitcoin mining. The lower the cost of power, the higher the profits from mining. This is the driving force behind Bitcoin farms opening wherever they can find cheap electricity.

Bitcoin mining companies have flocked to China because of its low electricity costs, which has made China one of the largest centres for mining.

The power consumed by Bitcoin mining is staggeringly high. The network’s power consumption is higher than Ireland’s power consumption.

China’s power is inexpensive, partially because it is often derived from cheaper sources, like coal. The problem becomes that energy produced by coal has a very high environmental impact compared to other methods. This fact only adds to the already high environmental impact of mining Bitcoin.

Many are applauding the idea of moving Bitcoin mining to Canada, where there are tighter regulations on energy production.

Canada may become the next centre for Bitcoin mining

The low cost of energy in Winnipeg, for instance, make it a likely candidate for Bitcoin mining farms.

One of the industry’s largest mining companies, BTC.Top, has chosen Canada as a place to open new mining farms. They are attracted to Canada because of it’s low electricity costs and stable government.

Another factor besides the low cost of power and a stable society is our cold winters. Bitcoin mining farms use power-hungry environmental control systems to combat the intense heat they generate. During the winter months, the intense cold of Canadian winters would alleviate some of this need for cooling.

Winnipeg locals have already started taking advantage of the low cost of mining in some very innovative ways. Myera Group is one startup has opened a greenhouse and fish farm that regulates its temperature control in part through the waste heat from Bitcoin miners.

The future of Bitcoin mining

Bill Gates famously said that no one can stop Bitcoin. Many experts who understand the true power of Bitcoin echo this sentiment.

China’s efforts to control Bitcoin production will likely not have any lasting effect on the network. Fear of the power of Bitcoin, however, may lead governments to be at a disadvantage in the future.

Canada’s embracing of blockchain technology and digital currencies has put us in a unique position to be a hotbed for innovation. An increase in Bitcoin mining farms opening in Canada will only strengthen our position as a global leader in the blockchain industry.

 

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

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