Sooner or later, everything in the world of crypto requires recalibration. That applies to the price of bitcoin, the blockchain hype cycle and the state-of-play for all of the parties getting rich by selling picks and shovels to this new industry.
The latter category includes electric utilities that initially saw cryptocurrency mining as a cute way to sell off some surplus power and generate incremental revenue.
A perfect example comes in the Canadian province of Quebec, which embraced mining for a brief season - becoming a darling of the crypto world in the process - before quickly realizing that it had bit off more than it could chew and that a reconfiguration was needed.
When I met with some representatives from Hydro-Quebec, the local electric utility, and Quebec’s investment promotion agency last December, the province had just begun to experience a ramp up of interest from miners from China and elsewhere responding to a marketing pitch intended lure data center operators to the region.
Indeed, the Francophone province boasts every characteristic that crypto miners and data center operators desire: a surplus of cheap, renewable electricity, political stability, fast internet connections and cold weather to keep equipment from overheating.
Though it didn’t even market itself as a mining destination, word of mouth quickly spread through the industry and Hydro-Quebec had soon enough found itself in talks with at least 35 miners seeking industrial-grade interconnections to its power grid.