Malaysian authorities bust Bitcoin mining farms stealing $24K electricity monthly
Malaysia is among the Asian countries seeing increased Bitcoin mining activities; however, most mining farm operators have instead chosen to steal electricity to power their facilities. Most recently, authorities of Seremban city raided many premises that hosted illegally-operating mining machines. This is another move made to regulate high electricity consumption in the area.
Over nine premises with Bitcoin mining farms raided in Seremban
In a joint effort with the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), an electricity company operating in the region, the Seremban City Council (MBS) raided about nine premises running illegal Bitcoin mining businesses. According to the local news outlet report, none of the mining facilities in these premises operated with a license. More especially, the mining machines were powered with stolen electricity.
Despite the premises having meters, the operators tapped electricity directly from the supply line to avoid reflecting the actual energy consumption. Notably, Bitcoin mining requires high computational power, which also consumes high energy. The continuous power theft began to draw the attention of the electricity companies, as they were incurring a huge loss.
Hamizam Ahmad, the head of the MBS Law and Enforcement Department, explained that the Bitcoin farms were running 24/7 with the stolen electricity. Consequently, this resulted in a loss for the company, about hundreds of thousands of ringgit (roughly $24,000) on a monthly basis. “This bitcoin currency mining activity not only causes losses to TNB but can invite accidents such as fires caused by short circuits,” Ahmad added.
Over 500 machines confiscated
No information about the operators of the farms was disclosed. However, several Bitcoin mining machines were confiscated after the raid. These include 510 mining machines, five monitors, 5 CPUs, about seven modems, four rotors, three iron shelves, and one cable.
The Seremban authorities pledge in the report to continuously monitor digital currency mining activities within the region, as more farms are being launched in the city. This is not the first time miners stole electricity in the country for mining. In August, the Malaysia Tenaga Nasional Berhad reported miners stole up to $25 million worth of electricity. This caused huge disruption for the power supply company.
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