Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Cryptocurrency company must cease operations s in Alberta

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The cryptocurrency mining operation of Green Block Mining, formerly Link Global, in Sturgeon County in the summer of 2021. Their facility consisted of shipping containers filled with computer servers.

Radio-Canada

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A Vancouver company has been ordered to pay more than $400,000 in penalties and court costs for operating several unauthorized cryptocurrency mines in Alberta.

The Alberta Public Utilities Commission (APSC) investigated Green Block Mining after residents from about a dozen different homes in Sturgeon County, north of Edmonton, complained noise.

The commission found that the company, formerly known as Link Global, installed four natural gas generators, powering computer servers that mined digital currency, known as cryptocurrency mines.

According to the CSPA, the company had other facilities, which since 2021 have all been closed because the plants in question were not authorized to operate.

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The generators that powered the bitcoin mining were located less than 700 meters from the homes in the Greystone complex in Sturgeon County.

However, Green Block Mining is still forced to pay fines for the non-compliance of its installations.

The commission approved a settlement agreement that stipulates the company must pay administrative penalties of $346,500, which will be paid into the province's general revenue fund, as well as $60,000 in legal fees for staff of the law enforcement commission.

The commission initially asked Green Block Mining to pay more than $7 million, alleging that the company had received a significant economic advantage by failing to comply with the rules

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However , according to financial documents, the company appeared to be in a precarious financial situation.

Company director Kevin Ma also says the company has never been engaged in mining bitcoin, a type of cryptocurrency, at a facility in Alberta. p>

Even though the amount of the fine is lower than what was initially requested, the professor at the university's Haskayne School of Business of Calgary, Alfred Lehar, thinks it's good to see that they are finally paying a penalty.

I think the government should prosecute anyone who sets up illegal operations.

A quote from Alfred Lehar, professor at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary

Mr. Lehar is also a specialist in cryptocurrencies and corporate finance. He believes that most bitcoin mining companies respect the rules and that this case is exceptional.

The company has agreed to cease operations in Alberta and never again have operations in the province.

Green Block Mining received the #x27;order to pay administrative penalties and court costs within 30 days of the decision, which fell on December 21.

The' company covered legal costs and made a partial payment of $140,000.

Green Block Mining, however, indicated to the commission that the company was not currently solvent and that it was difficult to find money in British Columbia to pay a fine in Alberta.

This week, the commission pushed back the deadline payment by February 21.

The company's lawyer, Gavin Fitch, said Green Block Mining intended to pay the remainder of the penalty and looked forward to putting this matter behind it. /p>

Specialists of this type of currency, such as Alfred Lehar, say that this sector could create jobs in Alberta, where energy is cheap and where there are many abandoned oil and gas sites.

But critics have raised concerns about the environmental impact of bitcoin mining and some provinces have restricted new cryptocurrency mining projects in due to concerns about the amount of electricity they consume.

Sturgeon County, where one unapproved Green Block Mining factories, decided to allow cryptocurrency mining, with restrictions, in 2022.

The county has said a small number of companies had expressed interest in mining cryptocurrencies at oil and gas sites, but no permits had been issued. /p>

With information from Madeleine Cummings

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