Bitcoin mining is a profitable venture with a good return on your investment of setting up mining rigs. The problem comes with the cost of powering those mining rigs. The only downside to bitcoin mining is the amount of energy required to sustain it. This is one of the reasons why Tesla backed off from bitcoin and why China is cracking down on mining operations in the country. So we’re sure that it’s not a good time to be stealing electricity for your mining operation.
Life is becoming hard for an illegal crypto miner since more and more countries are passing bills to either ban mining operations or regulate them accordingly. Many illegal mining operations are being investigated and closed down. The latest of this series of illegal mining crackdowns happened in Malaysia where another crypto mining farm was shut down by the authorities. But that isn’t all that happened.
The officers in charge of the arrest didn’t only close down the farm, arrest the owners, and confiscate their mining rigs. They gathered all the rigs in one place and ran a steamroller over them. All those graphic cards, reduced to mere paste under the weight of a massive steamroller. The officers had confiscated 1069 mining rigs so that’s over 1000 GPUs totally wasted. The operation was carried out by the police and the Sarawak Energy Berhad or SEB.
The joint operation happened in Miri and happened anywhere between February and April. The miners arrested were accused of stealing electricity to power their mining rigs. Guess they didn’t want to pay the big electricity bill that comes together with bitcoin mining. According to Miri police chief, ACP Hakemal Hawari “A total of six people have been successfully charged under Section 379 of the Penal Code for electricity theft and have been fined up to RM8,000 and jailed for up to eight months”.
He further added, “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”. According to SEB’s estimates, the country had lost almost RM8.4 million or $2 million in electricity because of illegal miners.
Good job catching the miners but they could have sold those GPUs to get back some of the money they lost to all the electricity stealing. Steamrolling them was a big waste. Perhaps the authorities wanted to send a message to other mining operations in the country.