Chinese Miner Arrested After Stealing Electricity To Mine BTC
Everybody wants the profit but not everybody wants to pay their electricity bills, right? Unfortunately, unless you are a certain Chinese man, you cannot get electricity for free and, even in his case, he ended up being arrested.
The protagonist of this odd story is Xu Xinghua, a Bitcoin miner that used the electricity that he stole from a local railway network operators in order to mine Bitcoin without needing to spend his profit on electricity. The main lived in northern province of Shanxi, in China.
Xinghua hacked into a Chinese railway and have stolen about $15,000 USD in electricity, however, he was arrested by the authorities later as soon as his scheme was noticed. His crime definitely did not compensate his effort as he was fined in $14,500 USD, almost all the money that the stole and sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Not only has Xinghua been arrested and fined, but he also had his mining equipment seized by the Chinese authorities. He has been stealing electricity since the end of last year and has mined 3.2 BTC, about $20,000 USD. Even with the reports that the electricity thief has been using 50 Bitcoin mining machines on his house, he only had a profit of $1,500 USD after paying the fines.
It looks like it can be difficult to profit with crypto mining even if you are using free electricity, especially when the police finds out.
Not The First Electricity Thief In China
Similar cases are not unprecedent in the country. In June, a man in the Chinese privince of Anhui was arrested for trying to get free energy as he discovered that his mining operation was getting unprofitable. The suspect stole 150 MW in energy in order to fuel two hundred computers that mined BTC and ETH.
Cases like these will not be any rarer now as the Chinese government is slowly tacking the mining industry. While China has become a mining superpotency, the People’s Bank of China’ leadership is unhappy with the fact that too many resources are being used for mining and speculation in the country and has been suggesting that miners should leave the country.
The regulator has even said that authorities could do whatever they deemed necessary like raising electricity prices or taxing land use to pressure the miners out of business.