Bitcoin farm proposed for former B.C. sawmill site
Cryptocurrency company eyes the Bulkley Valley for expansion
A northern B.C. town could soon help one company satisfy the growing appetite for bitcoins.
MiningSky is a blockchain infrastructure company looking to build its own cryptocurrency farm in Houston, B.C. The facility would host computers that mine bitcoins by solving complicated math problems.
The Pacific Northwest is attracting the attention of cryptocurrency companies for a number of reasons. The weather is temperate. Hydro-electric energy is plentiful. And the region is filled with plenty of space to build facilities for supercomputers.
"The weather conditions [of northern B.C] are ideal," said MiningSky vice-president of New Business Robert Mullaney. "It's cold enough where these [computers] run that you don't really need a cooling system. The northwest is already retrofitted for it."
Weather isn't the only appealing factor.
Northern B.C. is dotted with shutdown lumber mills. The shuttered Houston Forest Products can supply the company with access to electricity.
And MiningSky needs a lot of it. The company said it will need at least 10 megawatts of power.
More than just availability, Northern B.C. provides cheap energy.
Mullaney said that energy costs are much lower in Northern B.C. compared to California and Washington State — two states that have jumped on the cryptocurrency farm craze.
"There is a lot of energy that is just not being used ... And the best way to use this is on these supercomputers," said Mullaney.