Cryptocurrency mining and local power consumption have always been a controversial subject. The activity usually consumes a lot of electricity, and it may affect the correct distribution of power if the generation levels aren’t optimal in specific locations.

This week, authorities in China have decided to seize about 7,000 crypto mining machines that are incurring in illegal energy consumption; this is according to a recent report by Chinese news channel CCTV. The announcement came on December 22nd.

The confiscation of the mining equipment was an integral part of a global inspection, in which over 70,000 households, 3,061 vendors, 1,470 communities, and lots of mines, courtyards, and factories were checked in the Kaiping District of Tangshan city.

Alliance between Local Police and Electricity Authorities

The local police organized and carried out the mentioned inspection, but it also received a helping hand from the State Electric Power Department and other authorities in the electricity use field. The objective was to spot people or entities incurring in suspicious use of electricity resources.

The investigation was a fruitful one. It began in April of 2018. The police and the other authorities seized almost 6,890 ASIC miners and 52 high-power transformers. The police stated that crypto miners stole electricity from a village nearby and were still doing it.

The law enforcement authorities also observed that the seized Bitcoin (BTC) mining machines were up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with an elevated power consumption rate: these machines used to “eat” a maximum of 40 times more than what a regular family would normally consume.

Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin mining is a very widespread activity in the Chinese territory. The country’s BTC miners account for nearly two-thirds of the global hash rate. However, the nation is notoriously famous for the proliferation of the illicit use of energy by cryptocurrency miners.

In the middle of last month, lawmakers in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region started to exercise more pressure on crypto mining firms, sending units to inspect and reassure the “clean-up and rectification of crypto token mining companies” in the mentioned location.

Spotting Illegal Crypto Mining Farms

Other regions, such as Abkhazia, have also worked to broaden their reach and spot crypto mining farms, which clearly are easier, said than done. Earlier this month, the Chinese authorities brought to people’s attention that the increased loads on electric networks were, mostly, the responsibility of the proliferation of illegal Bitcoin mining farms that used local power to supply the needed electricity for the machines to work properly.

Last month, the Iranian government offered a bounty to those who were capable of exposing a mining farm or any unauthorized crypto activity in the nation. The bounty was an attractive one: the people who discovered the thieves that used subsidized electricity for their mining operations would receive roughly 20 percent of the recovered funds.

Using subsidized electricity to power a crypto mining farm can have substantial consequences in the energy supply of a whole village or jurisdiction.

By Andres Chavez


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