When it comes to bitcoin mining, can Alberta become the new China?

Alberta could be a potential new crypto hub in Canada

Since June, when Beijing increased its cryptocurrency crackdown, a mass exodus has been taking place from China. Local authorities ordered energy companies to stop power supply to bitcoin farms. This left miners with little choice but to leave for more crypto-friendly pastures.

The miners were not left in limbo, however, for too long. Many of them found new homes in America, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Alberta has also been on the radar since mid-July. The Nevada-based Black Rock Petroleum Company made a deal to deliver up to 1 million bitcoin mining machines into three natural gas plants in southern Alberta.

The company did not give a specific time frame, but stated in a press release that they were looking to sign 24-month contracts and have the option of extending them. The Quirk Creek natural gas station, located southwest of Calgary will host the first 200,000 units. It is currently operated by Calgary’s Caledonian Midstream Corporation. Black Rock acquired it in July.

Brian Mosoff, chief executive officer at Canadian crypto firm Ether Capital, and an entrepreneur focusing on cryptocurrencies, stated to the Financial Post that Bitcoin miners will naturally gravitate toward energy sources with low rates of interest.

Mosoff stated that Alberta was a great place. It really boils down to whether they can co-locate near another business that emits energy as a byproduct of another service they are performing. Or can they make a deal locally with the government to source megawatts at a specific price and lock it in for a few years. That could be done in Alberta.

Mosoff said that Ontario and Quebec are also hubs where miners can set up shop to find these benefits. However, Alberta has the best energy rates.

The deal will provide miners with a steady supply of energy at low costs. However, it could also be a boon to energy companies looking for lucrative business opportunities. This is especially important as the pandemic has slowed global travel and reduced energy demand. Companies in the fossil fuel sector are also under pressure from governments that push for more renewable energy sources.

An upstate New York coal power plant that was inactive received a new lease of life earlier this year to allow it to continue crypto mining operations. A Montana coal plant was also upgraded to make the same move. This deal could be a boost for Alberta’s energy sector.