Eastern China police busted a bitcoin mining operation after an unusual increase in local electricity usage, Agence France-Press reported on July 12.
The police, who seized 4,000 “mining devices,” claim the mining farm embezzled almost 20 million yuan ($3 million) in electricity costs. The examiners found out about the theft through a local power provider.
“In value, it is the largest case in the amount of electricity stolen that Jiangsu has cracked since the founding of New China, and a rare sight in the whole country,” Zhenjiang police purportedly told AFP.
Police officials assert that over 20 people joined in this specific mining operation.
Bitcoin mining is still prevalent in China. Investment platform Coinshare posted a report that learned 50 percent of the global bitcoin computing power was located in southern China.
The recent surge of bitcoin’s price to roughly $12,000 made the difficulty of the algorithm climb to record highs. Around every 14 days, the bitcoin software automatically adjusts its mining difficulty based on the amount of computing power in the network.
As earlier reported, the total hash rate this year could reach a maximum of 70EH/s in August. This means another 300,000 mining machines could be initiated to meet the required hashing power.