Illegal Bitcoin Operation in Alberta Facing More Than $7M in Fines

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A Canadian crypto mine could be facing up to $7 million in fines after setting up a power plant without permission.

Alberta’s provincial utility commission has suggested fining an illegal cryptocurrency mine upwards of $7 million for operating without the proper permissions. According to a report from the CBC, the company responsible failed to notify neighbors, Sturgeon county officials, or the Alberta Utilities Commission about its intentions. That company, Link Global, went behind Alberta’s back and set up a quartet of 1.25 MW generators in 2020. These generators were set up to draw power from an unused natural gas source that is owned by MAGA Energy in Calgary. The power was then used to handle the massive power needs of a mining operation.

The mine started to gain attention in the community due to the noise created by the gas generators. Eventually, Link Global was forced to close in late August by the province’s utility commission. Initially, the company responded with criticism for the jobs that will be lost if the oil and gas operation was to go unused. Eventually, Stephen Jenkins, CEO of Link Global, admitted that the snafu was on him and that the project had not gone as planned. “It’s my fault. I take full blame for it. We did not consult with residents,” Jenkins said. He added that when complaints began rolling in, the company sent teams around to measure decibel levels in the area and shut down temporarily based on the results. Attempts to counteract the noise such as a wall of straw bales and an upgraded exhaust system.

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