China has become one of the world’s largest sources of cryptocurrency mining, but authorities may allegedly soon introduce regulatory measures on the operators of mining farms. This is pushing some Chinese operator giants, like Bitmain Technologies, to expand overseas.
Bitmain Technologies, which is an operator of some of the largest cryptocurrency mining operations in China, is looking to Quebec, Canada.
The company’s spokesman Nishat Sharma told Reuters that Bitmain Technologies are discussing future prospects with Quebec’s regional authorities, and the company also has plans to spread to Switzerland.
Bitcoin mining consumes large quantities of energy because the computers try to solve complex math puzzles to authenticate transactions in the cryptocurrency, which are written to the blockchain. This process requires a lot of energy.
Stephane Paquet, a vice president of Montreal International, which promotes foreign investment, has called Quebec a place for “green bitcoin.”
According to Hydro Quebec, the province has an energy surplus equal to 100 Terawatt hours over 10 years. One terawatt hour powers 60,000 homes in Quebec during a year, making Quebec an energy rich area in Canada, which is what the Chinese miners are looking for.
“We, and from what I understand many of our peers, are already making plans to go overseas,” said Li Wei, chief executive of ZQMiner, a Wuhan-based company that sells bitcoin mining equipment.
The move comes at a time when the Chinese bitcoin miners are beginning to fear China’s unwillingness to expand, or perhaps even to shut down some mining operators, although Beijing has not issued any official warning so far, Reuters reported.
“In Canada, company Hydro Quebec described a potential sales pipeline of around 30 large cryptocurrency miners after a campaign by the public utility to attract data centres to the province triggered a flurry of interest from bitcoin miners in 2017,” the publication said.
Director of business development at Hydro Quebec distribution, David Vincent said that out of the world’s top five largest blockchain players, his company has at least three or four.
Currently, the miners aim to find existing services in Quebec that already have buildings and other infrastructure in place to enable the use of the large energy supply required for cryptocurrency mining.