Cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare has reached a partnership agreement with a major Canadian bank and we’ve covered the announcement in The Daily. Also in Canada, a large bitcoin farm may be cut off from the grid by a mayor concerned about electricity consumption, and elections in Québec are likely to change the game for mining companies. In China, a bitcoin billionaire turns back on the industry; the government crackdown may have played a role.
Coinsquare in Agreement With Leading Canadian Bank
Canadian crypto exchange Coinsquare has managed to secure a partnership agreement with one of Canada’s leading banks. The deal will help the trading platform streamline the process of depositing and withdrawing funds for its users. According to a press release, the relationship with a Big 5 Canadian bank, which has not been identified yet, will also serve as a foundation for the firm’s global growth. The Ontario-based company has previously announced plans to expand its operations in Europe by the end of this year and launch an exchange in Japan.
Coinsquare CEO Cole Diamond described the agreement as a “tremendous boost” not only for Coinsquare but for the entire Canadian cryptocurrency industry. Quoted by PR Newswire, he said: “This announcement is one of many examples of how institutional third party partners put their faith in our approach to the cryptocurrency business. We’re thrilled to start a relationship with a major Canadian bank and we’re excited for what it means for our users.”
The announcement comes after Coinsquare recently completed a third-party consolidated financial audit which concluded that its financial statements are “free from material misinformation.” According to its Chief Financial Officer Ken Tsang, both developments are part of the efforts of the Canadian crypto company to be regarded as a trusted cryptocurrency trading platform.
Large Bitcoin Farm Under Threat in Canada
Hut 8 Mining Corp. has spent more than $100 million to build its bitcoin mining farm in Medicine Hat, Canada, but its future is far from guaranteed. Local authorities are not happy with the mining facility, as it burns more electricity than the whole population of the city and several industrial plants working there.
The farm occupies 4.5 ha of land where more than 50 containers with 180 servers employed in mining cryptocurrency are located. Its energy needs are satisfied by a gas-powered electrical station and four wind turbines. The company is taking advantage of the low electricity rates in Medicine Hat where it has hired 40 people so far.
Despite the sizeable investment in the local economy and the positive effect on employment, Medicine Hat’s mayor has warned Hut 8 that the farm may be cut off from the grid if it gets overloaded. City authorities have also been pressured by environmental activists. A Greenpeace representative recently suggested that cryptocurrency mining should be banned unless it’s using renewable sources.
Québec Elections Said to Determine the Future of Mining
Bitcoin is in a way detached from traditional politics, soldiering on regardless of political developments here and there. However, it’s been claimed by mainstream media that one particular election is likely to affect it, at least on a regional scale and in one particular aspect – mining. The case concerns the recent parliamentary vote in the French-Canadian province of Québec.
The general elections are the province’s first since tensions arose earlier this year over electricity allocation for bitcoin mining, Forbes wrote in an article devoted to the subject. The increased demand from crypto miners this year forced the provincial government headed by Parti Liberal du Québec to order the state-controlled electric utility, Hydro-Québec, to restrict the supply and introduce higher tariffs for miners, the outlet notes.
According to preliminary results quoted by Canadian media, Monday’s election has been won by the center-right pro-business party Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), which will have a majority in the provincial legislature and form the new government. And while neither the outgoing liberals nor the winners have so far adopted an official stance on bitcoin mining, representatives of the nascent industry claim CAQ has demonstrated some support for the miners during the moratorium on energy supplies in Québec this summer.
The coalition’s leader François Legault has previously indicated his intention to make Hydro-Québec more profitable by fulfilling its potential. The utility company is one of the largest hydropower producers in the world.
Bitcoin Tycoon Li Xiaolai to Leave the Industry
Chinese billionaire and bitcoin investor Li Xiaolai is reportedly leaving the crypto industry amid a continuing government crackdown on the sector in the People’s Republic. Often called a bitcoin tycoon, Xiaolai is the founder of cryptocurrency venture capital firm Bitfund, which has become one of the largest and most influential crypto investment firms in China since its establishment five years ago.
“From this day on, I, Li Xiaolai, will personally not invest in any projects (whether it is blockchain or early stage). So, if you see ‘Li Xiaolai’ associated with any project (I have been associated with countless projects without my knowledge, 99% is not an exaggeration), just ignore it,” Xiaolai recently said in a post quoted by Sludgefeed. His statement was published on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo.
The prominent crypto investor has not explicitly stated the reason for his decision but the announcement coincides with an escalating Beijing offensive against businesses in the space. Li Xiaolai notes his intentions to explore different opportunities but also admits he is still optimistic about the long-term viability of crypto technology.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinsquare.
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