Last January, the CEO of Hydro-Québec evoked a “spiral of death” for the corporation.
Citing a study showing that the smart home, which can produce some of its energy, could be profitable in Quebec from 2025, CEO Eric Martel said : “If people start to self-produce with solar, they will consume less. But we have so many transformers, electric wires to buy. So the rates will go up. This will make self-production even more profitable. That’s it, the murderous spiral.”
As a good CEO, Mr. Martel concluded that the good thing for Hydro to do was to do everything to attract energy-consuming businesses to Quebec. He cited among others the Web giants like Facebook and Microsoft. The arrival of cryptocurrency miners fits perfectly with this strategy, with their projects representing several thousand megawatts. That’s why Hydro started courting them.
But now Hydro-Québec “had the management of the cryptocurrency market confiscated and was ordered to wait quietly for new instructions from the Couillard government,” according to Crypto Daily Gazette.
initially Hydro Quebec wanted to rectify the situation by saying that it does not close the door to cryptocurrency mining companies, but wants to actually look for the “best players” . So we go back to the old government method of choosing winners and losers, rather than letting consumers, entrepreneurs and investors speak out.
The government will therefore put the wheels of innovative technology companies on the wheels for reasons that are not yet known. Companies that undermine cryptocurrencies are creating jobs and wealth. Bitfarms, for example, a Quebec company, decided to invest $ 250 million in Sherbrooke. It will create 250 jobs in the regional industrial park .
Also, and beyond the concrete applications that blockchain technology will bring to a host of industries, such as agriculture , the technology on which cryptocurrencies are based is interesting from several points of view : it encourages entrepreneurship, interests more people on investment issues and monetary issues, encourages collaboration, and has significant innovation potential.
It is therefore strange that Hydro-Québec, which supplies discount energy, particularly to major aluminum smelters, decides to tie its hands and limit the number of its customers when it comes to supplying electricity to customers. legitimate businesses that have big needs. It could mean that many companies will decide to move elsewhere.
As we already know in 2014, the biggest obstacle to Bitcoin remains the fact that it still works within a regulatory gray area . Although this is a fascinating innovation with good potential for success, its widespread use is based on building investor confidence to mitigate the risks and fears that remain. The reluctance of the current government in Quebec only confirms this fact.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, like other industries that will use mining, are industries of the future. Quebec should position itself now in this industry, rather than having to pedal in the future to make up for lost time.
With all the artificial intelligence companies setting up in Montreal, this decision by Hydro and the government sends a contradictory signal: on the one hand, we are ready to do business, while on the other, we want to close the valves. Tell the government to plug in, not to unplug them!
Ian Kennedy is the newest contributor to Crypto Daily Gazette. He enjoys running, practicing minimalism and cooking. Ian is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut where he studied journalism, Arabic and international affairs. Ian mostly covers stories concerning emerging blockchain technology.