Chinese Bitcoin Miners Allegedly Stealing Electricity Through Fish Ponds To Power Mining Activity
One of the problems with Bitcoin mining is its halving. Bitcoin’s next halving is expected to take place about a year from now in May 2020. A halving is something that happens after every 210,000 blocks are produced which usually takes about four years. When a halving occurs, block rewards gotten by miners is directly halved and the next event will see rewards drop from the current 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC. This is one of the downsides to Bitcoin mining as many people believe that with each halving, the number of miners will drop significantly since the reward will be greatly reduced.
Another major problem with mining is the amount of electricity the entire process regularly consumes. Knowing exactly what to do and having the equipment necessary without being able to access the amount of energy required will do nothing for miners and this is probably why miners are now taking to stealing power for their mining.
Using Fish Ponds As Cover
Evidence has now been found by police in China, that many people are now illegally laying cables and running them through fish ponds to conceal their efforts to steal power from oil wells, for Bitcoin mining. According to reports, the head of oil production at the Daqing Oil Field – China’s largest oil field situated in Heilongjiang province – alerted the Qiqihar District Public Security Bureau’s Green Grassland Police Station when they noticed evidence of the theft. The police then conducted an investigation, deploying drones and reportedly collected more than enough evidence to initiate a case. However, at the moment, the exact details of the case regarding the suspected criminals and how much theft occurred, has not yet been made publicly available.
Other Cases Of Electricity Theft
In October last year, a Chinese man was convicted of power theft and sentenced to jail for a period of three and a half years. The man, Xu Xinghua, was said to have stolen electricity from a train station to supply his 50 Bitcoin miners and three electric fans which earned him a total of 3.2 BTC worth 120,000 Yuan or $17,400 with an electricity bill of at least 104,000 Yuan ($15,000).
In December last year, a Taiwanese man was also arrested for allegedly stealing electricity worth more than $3 million to mine both Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC). The accused, Yang, successfully mined both cryptocurrencies worth more than 100 million Yuan ($14.5 million). He was able to do this through about 17 different locations including internet cafes and toy shops which were fronts for his illegal mining.
Also in February this year, a bunch of suspects were arrested by police in the German city of Klingenthal, Saxony, also for stealing electricity which they used to power a cryptocurrency mining farm. Since 2017, the group used about 49 computers in the PGH Elektro electrical services company to consume data estimated to be enough to power more than 30 homes costing about 220,000 euros ($250,053). After a successful raid, police were able to arrest a group of six including 5 men and one woman.