Skip to main content

Report: China Discovered More Cryptocurrency Miners Stealing Electricity

Zhejiang
(Image credit: Zhejiang)

China allegedly discovered a number of cryptocurrency mining operations stealing power from universities, state-owned companies and government agencies.

Bloomberg reported that numerous Chinese media outlets and government organizations described the crackdown on these electricity thieves. Miners in the Jiangsu province were said to have used 260,000-kilowatt hours of electricity each day, for example, even though just one-fifth of the 4,500 IP addresses associated with illicit mining were traced back to public institutions.

The report also cited a statement from the Zhejiang province's government claiming that 183 mining operations were using public resources. That statement included pictures of mining rigs seized from these operations, too, just in case watching Malaysian police destroy a bunch of similar equipment wasn't satisfying enough.

An illicit Bitcoin mining rig

(Image credit: Zhejiang)

It's not uncommon for cryptocurrency miners to steal power. Electricity is expensive, and if mining operators can remove those recurring costs, they can improve their bottom lines. However, they'll still need to buy dedicated mining hardware or seemingly every graphics card on the market. But stealing power from China's public institutions after the country has banned mining is particularly ballsy.

China's ban started in a handful of provinces before spreading throughout the country over the summer. We'd already seen reports that provincial governments were hunting down mining operations defying the ban when the People's Bank of China declared that all cryptocurrency-related transactions were illegal in September. Now those efforts have been confirmed and shown to be successful.

Cryptocurrency mining's energy usage remains the primary reason cited for this crackdown. Zhejiang's statement claimed the miners were interfering with its plan to become carbon neutral, and Bloomberg reported that a coal shortage has interfered with much of China's power supply in recent months. Meanwhile, the Chinese government's own digital currency, e-CNY, has expanded its reach at the same time.

  • BILL1957
    Not so sure I would want to risk the punishment stage by from stealing from the communist government of China!
    Probably a little more than a smack on the wrist and warning to not do it again.
    Reply
  • daworstplaya
    The perps are probably organ donors now.
    Reply
  • TinyFatMan
    It is very amusing to note that since the destruction of the USSR, thanks to the greatest American spy, Michael Gorbachev, the media, all belonging, directly or indirectly, to the United States of America, the new "evil», the "Black Beast" is now China.

    More beautiful American propaganda. As if in the United States of America, we weren't doing the same thing considering that this "country" (this big multinational) has for goal only to make always more money and whatever the consequences on the life of all form and natural wealth.

    Greed is the second major mental illness, the first being lying. But since it is the rich who decide everything, who control everything, greed will never be considered a disease of the mind. Quite the contrary. In this unique world, the Capitalist, everything is done for the money.
    Now if the human species were just a little smarter (its maximum is 1/10), say 1.5 / 10, they wouldn't need the money and there wouldn't be rich or poor.

    But OK. Let’s continue in this wonderful world to “think” about only one thing: Money.
    God of all humans.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    Just name each mining computer UncleSam###

    So that when the Chinese authorities find it you can say the US did it.
    Reply
  • Grobe
    TinyFatMan said:
    . . . . . the new "evil», the "Black Beast" is now China.

    More beautiful American propaganda.
    It's not just "American propaganda", because also in Europe the China regime isn't exactly very popular.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    TinyFatMan said:
    More beautiful American propaganda
    gargoylenest said:
    Well, the USA NEED an "evil" country to point its finger at saying, "see how they steal territory? See how they bully weaker countries? See how they invest in weapons and military? See how they control their population? See how evil they are?!" All the while, doing exactly the same thing, and worse, for much longer.



    OK....lets leave the political sniping out of this.

    Continuance may result in things you do not want.
    Reply
  • DalaiLamar
    Grobe said:
    It's not just "American propaganda", because also in Europe the China regime isn't exactly very popular.

    Made worse by their communism's success.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    When power outage are costing your country 10+% of its manufacturing output and your country is still suspected of mining nearly 50% of all crypto worldwide despite all of the bans that have been implemented so far as more coal mines get shut down by floods and collapses further threatening the country's energy supply, you can expect the crackdowns to intensify.

    I imagine it is only a matter of time until the CCP elevates the severity of all crypto-related penalties to further discourage any involvement with it.

    With so many countries competing with China for coal, coke, natural gas, etc., prices are skyrocketing all around and pressure to crack down on crypto to reduce fossil fuel imports will increase worldwide.

    The next couple of years may suck.
    Reply
  • Krotow
    InvalidError said:
    With so many countries competing with China for coal, coke, natural gas, etc., prices are skyrocketing all around and pressure to crack down on crypto to reduce fossil fuel imports will increase worldwide.

    The next couple of years may suck.

    Countries who are happy to use China as their manufacturing ground, should seriously rethink their long-term strategies. Ir already kicked back in form of semiconductor shortages. But that is only a tip of iceberg. Common West must regain their manufacturing independency and manufacture their goods by themselves without giving their jobs away to someone else.
    Reply
  • Soaptrail
    Krotow said:
    Countries who are happy to use China as their manufacturing ground, should seriously rethink their long-term strategies. Ir already kicked back in form of semiconductor shortages. But that is only a tip of iceberg. Common West must regain their manufacturing independency and manufacture their goods by themselves without giving their jobs away to someone else.

    It is not that simple with China so far has a majority of rare earth metals. So while manufacturing can move back to the US somehow those rare earth metals need to being imported to allow manufacturing. I get the feeling China is more will to let rare earth metals be export in finished products than as raw materials.
    Reply