Elder Chinese Women Who Mined Bitcoin Sees Jail Time for Electricity Theft and Faces Fines for Acts
The Kaiping District People’s Court of Tangshan City, Hebei Province of China has sentenced a 61 year old bitcoin miner for stealing electricity to power her mining activities. The woman Tang Qiuping has been sentenced to 4 months in jail and a 10,000 (about $1500) yuan fine for the crime.
The electricity company, Tangshan Power Supply Company of Minbei Electric Power Co., Ltd., on October 2, 2018 filed a case against Qiuping, accusing her of stealing electricity worth 8984.35 (about $1300) between January 11 and October 2, 2018.
Quiping later pled guilty to the charge in court and paid for the stolen power in full and returned the profit earned to the state treasury. Although owning Bitcoin is legal in China as was mentioned by a council member, crimes relating to electricity theft for mining purposes is a common occurrence in the country.
This could be a contributing factor to the threatened ban of all Bitcoin mining activities in China in April. The government also stated that the close down was necessary due to the wastage involved in mining and the pollution it causes to the environment.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin mining is said to be more profitable now than ever before. According to reports, Bitcoin mining generates 8x more profit than mining if altcoins. Statistics show that Bitcoin rewards miners a whopping $580,000 as profit followed by Ethereum with a much lower reward of $68,000.
As the mining reward increases, miners may become desperate and source for electricity anywhere to be able to mine and this could lead to increase in electricity theft. Quiping is one of the few cases that have been found out but there could be a lot more theft going on than meets the eye.