The town of Ocean Falls in British Columbia, Canada once thrived its paper mill. Like many small towns across The United States and Canada, Ocean Falls relied on a mill or factory to keep their economy afloat and slowly began to deteriorate into a ghost town once these precious industrial hubs were closed or moved.
Ocean Falls’ paper mill was powered by a dam that can produce 13 megawatts of electricity. But, the amount of residents left in Ocean Falls is so few that hey need only less than a third of the electricity that the dam produces. While the dam and cheap real estate seem to provide a great environment for budding industries, the town is only accessible by boat or seaplane.
The remote characteristics of Ocean Falls kept it a nearby ghost town for years. But now the dam has given new life to the town and purpose to its buildings. With so much energy flowing from the dam, Ocean Falls became a prime area to mine Bitcoin, and miners begun to hatch plans to cash in on the town’s unique situation.
The Pacific Northwest is a popular area to mine cryptocurrency because of the cool weather and large amounts of hydroelectricity. The revival that Ocean Falls has seen in the wake of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency movement is becoming a common event as more ghost towns in the area find new purpose.
Houston, a small Canadian town not far from Ocean Falls had there mill shut down in 2014 has had cryptocurrency mining operations set up shop as well and is also reaping economic benefits.
Canada has been proactive in regulating cryptocurrency and would be wise to continue to allow cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to relocate to small towns such as Ocean Falls.
Not all small towns are as welcoming to new industry, but Ocean Falls residents have been supportive of the growing cryptocurrency industry. Recently, south of the border from Ocean Falls, towns in the United States have installed some rules to curb the mining rush. Grant County, Washington, for example doubled the electric bills of miners in a reaction which could hurt the industry.
As the cryptocurrency industry grows and mining becomes more prevalent, the locations that are welcoming to these new startups could see a huge economic windfall in the coming years.
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