In a blow to Canadian cryptocurrency mining companies, Hydro-Quebec has put forth a new set of rules which will require any blockchain-related business to "bid" for their electric rates, as well as justify the jobs and "investment" that will be produced per megawatt. "The goal of this process is to both maximize economic spinoffs for Quebec and revenue for Hydro-Quebec," the company said in a press release, "in turn, pushing electricity rates down for customers." While the new policy will allocate an additional 500 megawatts to the already-existing 120 megawatts of power already set aside for crytocurrency mining companies, the new starting rate will be 1 Canadian cent per kilowatt hour. This is 20 percent higher than the standard electricity price for other customers. The announcement, made on June 21, is just the latest development in an ongoing drama where Quebec has made it clear that the province is not impressed with the cryptocurrency mining business. Premier Philippe Couillard recently said he doesn't see any "added value for our society" by "just having servers do transaction mining and acquire new bitcoins." All of these power developments are somewhat of an olive branch for cryptocurrency mining companies, as a moratorium was lifted in May that prohibited the sale of electricity to the businesses altogether. This apparent change in tone was the result of the government not wanting to "miss the ship" on the digital currency boom. However, at the beginning of June, Hydro-Quebec was forced to cease processing new requests from cryptocurrency miners so existing customers wouldn't lose power. Of the 13 TeraWatthours the company had in surplus, an excess of 10 TWh was requested for purchase by over 100 organizations. Hydro-Quebec runs around 60 hydroelectric power plants in the province. Quebec is a less-than-appealing place to start a cryptocurrency mining business, compared to other countries with far less hostility toward the idea, like Switzerland.
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