New Brunswick’s provincial government has implemented a moratorium on energy access to crypto miners and other large-scale users due to concerns about additional load demand. N.B. Power, the main power company in the province, expressed concerns about the potential significant pressure that crypto mining could put on the energy supply. The cabinet order that endorsed the moratorium was issued in March 2022 and included these concerns from the power company.
The exact date of the moratorium’s implementation is unclear, as it seemingly went unnoticed until the CBC reported on it. However, the policy remains in place as of the CBC’s latest report. In addition to the moratorium, New Brunswick’s government ordered a review of the crypto sector and its impact on the energy supply. The review, which remains private, was due in December 2022 and intended to ensure that restrictions do not continue to affect non-crypto companies.
The moratorium was put in place shortly after Taal Distributed Information Technologies expressed its intent to begin operating in New Brunswick. Another firm, Hive Blockchain Technologies, is already operating in the province. Similar moratoriums have been imposed by other Canadian provinces, including British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec. In the U.S., North Carolina and New York have also imposed restrictions on crypto mining.
The move by New Brunswick’s government reflects growing concerns about the energy consumption associated with crypto mining. The process of mining cryptocurrencies requires a significant amount of energy, and as the popularity of crypto continues to increase, so does the demand for energy. This increased demand has led to concerns about the impact on the environment and the strain on energy supplies.
In response to these concerns, some crypto mining companies are exploring alternative energy sources, such as hydroelectric power. Others are developing energy-efficient mining hardware to reduce their energy consumption. However, these solutions may not be feasible for all companies, and government restrictions on energy access may become increasingly common as the demand for crypto mining continues to grow.
Overall, New Brunswick’s moratorium on energy access for crypto miners highlights the need for greater consideration of the energy consumption associated with cryptocurrencies. As the popularity of crypto continues to increase, governments and companies must work together to find sustainable solutions to meet the growing demand for energy.