Bitcoin just can’t seem to catch a break. Authorities in Malaysia have confiscated over 1,000 bitcoin mining rigs and destroyed them with a steamroller, after a police accused the operators of stealing electricity.
According to Malaysian newspaper The Star, a total of 1,069 mining rigs valued at $1.26 million were confiscated and intentionally destroyed by a steamroller. A joint investigation with local police and electricity company Sarawak Energy Berhad lead to charges against six individuals, after it was determined they were stealing electricity to power their operations.
The miners had stolen approximately $2 million worth of electricity from the grid, which they used to mint bitcoin and ethereum. The accused individuals have each been fined £1,380 and face up to eight months of jail time. “The electricity theft for mining bitcoin activities has caused frequent power outages, and in 2021 three houses were razed due to illegal electricity supply connections,” said Malaysian police chief Hakemal Hawari.
Illegal bitcoin mining operations are being discovered across numerous regions around the world, particularly in developing economies where electricity is derived from coal and other dirty fossil fuels. A recent crackdown by authorities and regulators in China has forced miners to relocate to places where electricity production is more environmentally friendly, such as the US and Canada.
Information for this briefing was found via The Star. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.