A Canadian city threatens to cut off power from local Bitcoin mining farm. A discussion that is slowly progressing into the ethics of mining.
Medicine Hat, a city in the province of Alberta and home to 60,000 people, is on the verge of cutting power off from a local Bitcoin mining farm, Hut 8. Hut 8 is a $100 million Bitcoin mining farm over 4.5 hectare of land. Their farm comprises of 56 shipping containers and 180 mining servers that work around the clock. The mining farm burns through as much power as the rest of the city, and 10 times more than the next highest energy consuming facility in the area.
In an article by CBC, environmentalists are concerned with the amount of energy used for mining, but with the economic benefits of Hut 8 operating in Medicine Hat, the city will allow the mining farm to continue. But with the recent heat wave, the ongoing narrative of prioritizing the economy is changing. The past summer of 2018, where the heat is at its high, brought on more power being used to combat the heat and humidity than before. This pushes the the discussion into the direction for preservation of the environment. A governmental saviour is going to decide on whether they should pull the plug on Hut 8 for good.
Medicine Hat is originally known for its own natural gas and electricity generation and distribution. This cheap energy model is aimed to bring and attract businesses that would require large amounts of energy like Hut 8.
With the energy source that Medicine Hat provides, and the mining Hut 8 is doing, the company has generated 3,300 bitcoins in 2018. That amounts to around $21 million dollars. Bringing that much money into a small town in Canada can really benefit the community financially, but at what cost to the environment, and the future of natural preservation?