Canadian bitcoin miner Link Global faces $5.6 million fine


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Link Global Technologies, a Bitcoin (BTC) mining company listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange, is facing significant potential penalties for operating unauthorized power plants in the province of Alberta.

On September 24, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), the province’s energy utilities regulator, issued another law enforcement report against Link Global, in which enforcement officials recommended numerous penalties for violations of Alberta’s legislative requirements.

According to a document shared with Cointelegraph, AUC implementation staff recommended that Link Global pay an economic sum of approximately $2 million (CAD) (US$1.6 million) for financial gains from illegal electricity generation.

The regulator is seeking more than C$5 million ($4 million) from Link Global’s bitcoin mining operations, based on AUC’s calculations of Link Global’s alleged aggregate economic benefits to two manufacturers. In addition, the American University in Cairo is seeking C$81,000 ($64,000) in two administrative portions.

According to the document, the AUC estimated Link Global’s economic benefit based on “a more conservative generation rate of 1.2 bitcoins per day” and “a more conservative 95,000 THB of computing power for 10 megawatts.” The authority noted that Link Global’s revenue stream relies primarily on hosting or selling electricity to third parties for digital asset mining, “with a smaller percentage of revenue coming from self-mining activities.”

An AUC spokesperson told Cointelegraph: “The enforcement team’s report and recommendations are only part of the information that will be assessed and considered by the AUC tribunal committee made up of the members of the commission.” Link Global has received an extension until October 14, 2021, as the deadline to submit its response. “All of this information will be considered in an oral hearing before a final ruling is issued. The date for this hearing has not yet been set,” the representative said.

Following AUC’s presentation, Link Global CEO Stephen Jenkins issued a statement on September 30, stating that the company had acknowledged an error and was working hard to correct the errors:

“Our business respects laws, people, and the environment, and we believe our introduction to AUC will make that clear. […] I apologize to our contributors who don’t deserve this. We will work tirelessly to ensure that the outcome is positive.”

Related: Bitcoin mining difficulty has risen 31% since July

Link Global did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

If enforced, this revocation would be the second revocation penalty ever imposed by AUC after agreeing to a C$56 million settlement for the TransAlta Corporation electric power generator in 2015.

As previously reported, AUC initially asked Link Global to shut down its operations in late August after local residents complained about noise from a nearby power station.