Police Find Illegal Mining Rig at Car Charging Point
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Police Find Illegal Mining Rig at Car Charging Point

6 months ago

The mining rigs were hidden behind a fence and a locked door, and had reportedly consumed more than 90,000kWh of electricity.

Police Find Illegal Mining Rig at Car Charging Point

Índice

An illegal mining operation has been busted in the Chinese city of Guangzhou — with 190 professional rigs worth $800,000 seized by police.

According to local media, the machines were hidden in a charging station for electric vehicles — all in the hope of evading detection because of the high amounts of power already being used.

The mining rigs were hidden behind a fence and a locked door, and had reportedly consumed more than 90,000kWh of electricity.

A report about the incident added that crypto mining results in "large energy consumption and carbon emissions, low contribution to the national economy, and limited driving effect on industrial development and scientific and technological progress."

China has long taken a dim view of cryptocurrencies.

As recently as May 2021, the country was home to a whopping 70.9% of the Bitcoin network's total hashrate — but a dramatic clampdown resulted in many miners shutting up shop and moving their operations elsewhere.

The U.S. is now the country with the biggest share of hashrate, followed by Kazakhstan — and a number of states, including Texas, have sought to woo businesses with friendly policies and low electricity costs.

Despite China vowing to punish miners who continue to operate illegally, reports suggest that many operations are continuing underground.

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Electricity Theft: A Growing Problem?

Bitcoin mining is an energy-intensive activity — and around the world, electricity theft has been a growing problem.

According to Malaysia's national utility company, electricity worth $550 million was stolen over a three-year period by 18 individuals — and there were 7,209 cases involving illegal Bitcoin miners in 2021 alone.

Tenaga Nasional is now attempting to clamp down on this by proposing a special tariff for BTC miners — and encouraging them to apply to use electricity legally.

Electricity theft isn't the only concern, as operators fear that this could make power supplies far less reliable for everyday consumers if left unabated.

This is markedly different from the approach that Malaysian authorities have used before — and last June, the police released a video that showed more than 1,000 rigs being crushed by a steamroller.

Last year, police in England thought they were searching for a cannabis farm after they were asked to investigate an unauthorized connection to the electricity supply — but instead, they found an illegal Bitcoin mining operation complete with 100 machines. A police drone had picked up large amounts of heat emanating from the building on an industrial estate in the West Midlands.

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