Bitcoin miner Hut 8 takes stoush with Ontario power supplier to court

Canada-based Bitcoin (BTC) miner Hut 8 Mining Corporation has ramped up its ongoing fight with its power supplier for one of its mining sites, filing a lawsuit in a Canadian court.

Hut 8 said on Jan. 26 that it had filed a Statement of Claim in the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario against Validus Power, an energy supplier for a Hut 8 mining facility in North Bay, Ontario.

The firms have been in an ongoing dispute since early November due to what Hut 8 alleges is a failure by Validus to “meet its contractual obligations” for the power purchase agreement.

In its new lawsuit, Hut 8 is seeking “monetary damages incurred as a result of the dispute” and enforcement of certain provisions as per the agreement signed by the two companies.

Hut 8 and Validus started working together in late 2021, with Validus initially providing 35 megawatts (MW) of power to North Bay, a figure that increased to around 100 MW by the end of 2021.

A June photo from the North Bay facility showing multiple ASIC crypto miners. Source: Hut 8

On Nov. 9, Hut 8 issued a notice of default to Validus, alleging it failed to achieve milestones by the dates outlined in the power purchase agreement and claiming that the firm demanded Hut 8 pay for energy at a higher price than the agreement called for.

An update from Hut 8 later that month revealed Validus suspended the delivery of energy to its North Bay site. Validus fired back with its own default notice alleging that Hut 8 failed to pay for its power charges, a claim Hut 8 denies.

To this date, operations at the site remain suspended. Hut 8 said it is exploring alternatives to mitigate the impact of the dispute, including through “organic and inorganic growth opportunities.”

Related: Bitcoin miners’ worst days may have passed, but a few key hurdles remain

Before it was taken offline, the North Bay site had 8,800 crypto mining rigs and a hash rate capacity of 0.84 exahashes per second (EH/s), accounting for over one-fourth of its total production capacity, according to a December investor deck.

Cointelegraph contacted Validus and Hut 8 for comment but did not receive an immediate response from either firm.