Cryptocurrency comes to the Kootenays

Part III. What is bitcoin mining and what’s the appeal for this in the West Kootenay?

Bitcoin graphic.

— Background image Bob Morton photo

Still confused about bitcoin mining? Here’s an explanation from the investment newsletter Ahead of the Herd, and it is about as simple an explanation as I’ve seen: “Bitcoin mining essentially is a network of interconnected computers that create a system of electronic cash by solving computational puzzles, to put it simply. Computers that solve the puzzles are awarded bitcoins, which are added to a decentralized, public ledger, known as a blockchain, and made available for purchases or trading.

Bitcoins can be used to pay for goods and services or converted into currencies like US dollars. Mined bitcoins are stored in the blockchain, which can be visualized as a digital ledger file stored in the computers of each bitcoin network “node”. The blockchain records the transaction history of all bitcoins in existence, thus allowing the network to verify and match each bitcoin with the digital wallet that owns it.

Since it's virtually impossible for an individual to mine bitcoins, mining “pools” have been developed whereby multiple miners combine their processing power to solve blocks – or computational puzzles. When the puzzles are solved the pool splits the resulting bitcoin reward based on the compute power each miner contributes.”

If you want to get a behind-the-scenes look at DMG’s facility in the West Kootenay reportedly near Christina Lake, you can watch this 22-minute YouTube video filmed at the company’s 27,000 square foot bitcoin mine. https://youtu.be/aFLn3U9SNnU

In this quasi-documentary/promotional video by Dan Dicks which is deemed as “Exclusive: Rare Footage Inside A Massive Bitcoin Mining Farm,” DMG’s Sheldon Bennett identifies three reasons they have located their bitcoin mine in the “remote mountains of British Columbia.”

1) Hydro power and lots of it: Access to power, lots of rivers nearby with dams for plentiful hydro power;
2) Goldilocks temperature: The climate is not too hot or not too cold.  It’s the goldilocks of temperature—just right.
3) Easy U.S. access: It’s close to the U.S. border, which provides very strong supply chain access.  It allows the company to expedite supplies from either Canada or U.S. more quickly.

According to a sales prospective/memorandum prepared by Maynards Industrial Sales division, the property in question was originally developed and owned by a value-added forest products company called Creekside Industries of Christina Lake.  Here is how Maynards described the property in a sales brochure:

“Creekside (Industries) was conceptualized in 2004 as a way to capitalize on the supply of trim blocks available from local sawmills in the southern B.C. interior. The project was developed by a subsidiary of Sinclar Enterprises Ltd. in conjunction with an individual from outside the Sinclar Group who acted as President and General Manager of the Company. The partners incorporated Creekside in 2004 and entered into a trim block supply agreement (the “Trim Block Supply Agreement”) with Pope and Talbot during that year. This agreement was subsequently amended and expanded in April, 2005. Planning for the venture proceeded and, by late 2005, a manufacturing site had been leased and a facility was under construction. The Company’s finger-jointing equipment was installed in early 2006 and the plant commenced operations in about May of that year. The facility operated in start-up phase until November, 2006, when, for a number of reasons, it was closed.

Creekside’s facilities consist of a single-line finger-jointing plant, a ramp and loading dock, a chipper and chip loading facilities, a sawdust extraction system and an unpaved storage yard. The Company’s finger-jointing operations are housed in a single, 26,275 square foot slab-on-grade, steel frame, sheet metal clad, industrial building which was constructed in 2006.”

According to the newsletter Deep Dive, this is the property DMG has leased in the Christina Lake area and transformed into a bitcoin mining operation. Legal description of the property is listed in the document as: Lot A, Plan KAP80226, District Lot 312, Similkameen Div of Yale Land District PID: 026-566-460 ADDRESS 795 Highway 395, Christina Lake, B.C.

Keith Powell

Keith Powell is the publisher and founder of Kootenay Business magazine which is part of the Koocanusa Publications group. View all of Keith Powell’s articles

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