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As Canada Scrutinizes ICOs, Quebec’s Cheap Power is Helping Bitcoin Miners

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:02 PM
Lester Coleman
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:02 PM

Quebec is becoming a center for bitcoin mining due to the province’s low electricity costs and its cold winters.

Jonathan Bertrand, who runs Technologies D-Central from a warehouse on the outskirts of Montreal in Quebec, Canada, has become the largest bitcoin miner in Quebec province. The company’s hangar includes 50 computers that mine bitcoin day and night, according to the CBC .

Cooling Costs Low

A single one of Bertrand’s computers consumes about $90 worth of electricity daily, but the operation saves on the cooling that keeps the machines from overheating during the cold winter months.

Bertrand plans to install more processors at the warehouse and also open a second mining operation in another one in Montreal’s suburbs.

His bitcoin mining competitors, mostly big companies headquartered in Iceland and China, have been looking to expand mining in Quebec for its low electricity rates, he said. China has recently cracked down on mining operations as part of a wider crackdown on cryptocurrency.

Regulators Examine ICOs

Canadian securities regulators, meanwhile, are monitoring digital currency ICOs to make sure they abide by the right set of rules, according to the CBC .

The Canadian Securities Administrators in August published a paper  outlining what securities laws should be applied to ICOs.

Companies raising money via an IPO must follow rules surrounding disclosure, and making sure investors are aware of risks. This is not always the case with ICOs since they are sometimes treated as currencies.

Canada’s regulators want to clarify the rules to determine whether such fundraising deals should be treated like equity investments, or more like conventional currency — on a case-by-case basis.

Chris Horlacher, CEO of Equibit Group, acknowledged in a recent interview that some ICOs, most notably the DAO, are little more than marketing investment funds and should be treated as equity investments. But he said it is not fair to paint all ICOs with one brush.