The Chinese Police has busted a bitcoin mining operation in Eastern China after complaints about a surge in local electricity usages were received by them. According to a report by The Guardian, the police has confiscated more than 4,000 mining devices from the property along with the alleged bosses of the mining operation.
The mining operation is reported to have stolen 20-million-yuan, almost $3.2 million, worth of energy in the past year alone. According to the police, this is a rare sighting as there hasn’t been this level of power stealing since a long time. In an official statement posted on the internet, the Zhenjiang Police said:
In value, it is the largest case in the amount of electricity stolen that Jiangsu has cracked since the founding of New China, and a rare sight in the whole country.
The police were tipped off by the local power company who after seeing an abnormal surge in the area over the past year informed them. The police allege that there were 20 people involved in the operation and that they are currently looking for these people. The investigation is still open as the police are still looking for more people involved while figuring out the details. They have assured that they will take all the “compulsory measures”.
Bitcoin Mining in China
China is one of the biggest bitcoin mining countries in the world. Thanks to the low prices of electricity in China, bitcoin mining had been profitable in China even during the great bitcoin slump during 2018 and the early 2019 when the price of bitcoin was around $3,000 which made bitcoin mining a bad deal for most of the world due to towering electricity costs. In a previous report by BlockPublisher, it was discussed how China accounts for more than 50% of the world’s total mined bitcoins and how it is one of the cheapest countries to mine bitcoin.
The price of a single bitcoin has quadrupled to almost $12,000 now. The bitcoin algorithm adjusts its mining difficulties every 14 days relative to the computing power in the network that is why the mining difficulty has reached record highs in the past few weeks. The total hash rate has also peaked at almost 70EH/s creating a need for more than 300,000 mining machines to meet the requirement of the increasing hash power.
Crackdown Against Bitcoin Miners
China is not the only country that has started to crackdown against bitcoin mining operations over electricity costs. Iran, also one of the cheapest countries to mine bitcoin, has also reportedly suspended all bitcoin mining operations in the country due to shortfalls in electricity supply. The country also cracked down on bitcoin mining operations that were operating illegally in residential areas where electricity prices are kept low by governmental subsidies.
The report claimed that due to illegal mining operations in the country, the grid surged more than 7% in just a month, causing an unusual spike and creating problems for the country’s industry. Representative of Ministry of Energy Mostafa Rajabi said in a statement:
Bitcoin miners will be identified and their electricity will be cut, as mining is making the grid unstable and causing a problem for other users.