Manitoba suspends new cryptocurrency operations, due to high energy demand


The Manitoba government is temporarily halting any new connections of cryptocurrency operations to the hydroelectric grid.

Finance Minister Cameron Friesen, the minister responsible for Crown-owned Manitoba Hydro, says there will be an 18-month pause pending a review of the industry’s energy demands.

The technology that underpins cryptocurrencies — blockchain — requires a large amount of electricity to run complex financial transactions.

The move will not affect the 37 current operators in the province, which Friesen says use a relatively small amount of power.

He says there have been recent requests from another 17 operators that would require 371 megawatts of power — more than half the power generated by the recently completed Keeyask generating station.

Hydro-Quebec announced earlier this month that it would ask regulators to suspend its energy allocation process to the blockchain industry.

   This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2022.

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