A look inside a Canadian cryptocurrency mining lab
Ben Cousins, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Sunday, February 11, 2018 10:00PM EST
Mining usually conjures up images of hard labour and huge machines digging for minerals, but it now has a whole new meaning in the digital world.
CryptoGlobal is among several cryptocurrency mining companies with operations in Canada. The company boasts thousands of supercomputers dedicated to mining for digital currency in a Hamilton, Ont.-area facility with plans to open two similar facilities in Quebec in the spring.
"We'll have 10,000 machines in total across all our facilities by the end of April," James Millership, president of CryptoGlobal, told CTV News.
Looking even further ahead, CryptoGlobal hopes to expand to 50,000 supercomputers across the country by the end of the year.
Bitcoin has been making headlines for months, both through its potential for investors to turn a digital investment into real-world gains, but also for the market’s volatility. While CryptoGlobal is working to mine Bitcoin, it also works with other forms of digital currency, including DASH, Ether and Litecoin.
The appeal of digital currencies is that they allow people to make transactions anonymously, without using a bank or government institution. Instead of keeping track of each transaction, miners solve complex algorithms to validate each change in currency. As a reward for helping facilitate such a transaction, the miner receives a portion of the deal.
CryptoGlobal says on any given day there could be between $40 and 50 million available for cryptocurrency mining companies. They think Canadians have an advantage in the industry because the cold weather makes it less expensive to cool the computers.
"Canada is known for mining so why not be a leader in this new crypto mining?" said Rob Segal, CEO of CryptoGlobal.
CryptoGlobal isn’t the only company to see Canada as an opportunity for digital currency mining. Hut 8 Mining Corp. recently set up a similar business in Drumheller, Alta. with the help of the province’s cheap electricity rates. Iron Bridge Resources Inc., an oil and gas company, recently announced a plan to use its leftover energy to power a cryptocurrency mining facility in northern Alberta.
Other hotspots for digital currency mining in Canada include Winnipeg and Montreal.
With a report from CTV News’ John Vennavally-Rao and with files from The Canadian Press