Mining company Bit Digital is expanding its operations to Canada, according to Chief Strategy Officer Samir Tabar.
The New-York based company said Wednesday it had signed a two-year agreement, noting the Canadian facility would use “an energy source that is primarily hydro-power operated.” The facility powers about 650 miners and plans to host over double that amount, about 1,500 bitcoin (BTC) mining units, in the coming months.
Tabar told CoinDesk TV’s “All About Bitcoin” show that the two key reasons for the move north were a bid to avoid jurisdictional risks in the U.S. while also finding ways to use “renewable sources of power.”
The company is aiming to be cautious about the energy demands associated with bitcoin mining. Tabar defended crypto’s energy use, however, saying that oftentimes bitcoin mining “uses excess energy from the grid that would otherwise be wasted.”
The mining company’s operations once stretched to China, but with financial regulators cracking down on bitcoin miners Bit Digital opted to move to the U.S., setting up shop in the New York.
However, New York lawmakers have since taken a harsh stance on bitcoin mining operations. Most recently, the state imposed a two-year moratorium on any new mining operations powered by carbon-based energy sources.
Bit Digital still has mining operations in New York, according to Tabar, who said the mining company’s relationship with lawmakers hasn’t soured.
“We’re quite happy the legislation did not throw out the baby with the bathwater,” Tabar said regarding the bill’s scope and that it does not take a “one-size fits all approach.”
Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and a half-dozen other Democrats have written the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, asking for greater transparency to be applied to miners regarding carbon emissions caused by local mining operations.
Tabar said this emphasizes the “bias towards the operations of legacy institutions,” and is a bid by lawmakers to avoid cracking down on the energy demand of traditional firms. Investment banker JPMorgan Chase (JPM), for example, is among the top ranking banks that invests in fossil fuel industries. The mining company does not invest in such companies and has plans to be "entirely carbon free eventually."
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.