A Canadian news outlet CBC reports that a city called Medicine Hat while having less than 60,000 residents, has become so popular with cryptocurrency miners that the local authorities have no choice but pull a plug in order to prevent blackouts for residents. Meanwhile, mining remains an essential part of this city’s economy.
A huge mining facility
A Toronto-based cryptocurrency mining company Hut 8 reportedly shelled out over $100 mln on a huge mining facility that is located on the northern part of the city. This mining farm alone is reportedly mining more than 20 BTC per day. However, that comes at a price– this facility consumes more than 60 MW of power, which obviously leads to accusations that the mining industry is wasting too much power.
Numerous environmental groups have expressed grave concerns due to the omnipresence of Bitcoin mining. In particular, they talk about dangerous carbon emission (most of the electricity in this region is produced by fossil fuels).
Bedrock of the city’s economy
On the flip side, Hut 8, which employs around 40 workers, gives a huge boost to Medicine Hat’s economy. The city's mayor Ted Clugston is among those who show support for crypto mining, claiming that Medicine Hat would historically offer businesses an incentive in the form of low-cost energy, and this case is no different. Clugston claims that Hut 8 could build its mining facility anywhere, but they chose Medicine Hat because of its gas utility that is still going strong. He also adds that mining businesses cannot fully rely on renewable energy.
Notably, CBC’s report on Bitcoin mining prompted a heated discussion in the comment section with some people arguing that not a single city should waste its resources on yet another “Ponzi” scheme while other commentators argued in favor of cryptocurrency mining.