Police in Tianjin – a city in Northern China – seized some 600 computers used for bitcoin mining. The authorities’ attention was attracted by the abnormal surge of electricity usage by the local power grid operator. Five people are being investigated and one is already being detained.
Reuters cites local Chinese media Xinhua, which reported the specifics around a local police officer who noted that “Eight high-power fans were also seized,” adding that it was the “largest power theft case in recent years.”
A Notable Decline
China’s overall policymaking towards the crypto industry, in general, has been overwhelmingly unfavorable. Earlier this year, we saw a nationwide cryptocurrency trading ban take the country by storm. As a result, many Chinese mining operations have already begun seeking a safer haven for their undertakings.
While China used to be the home for the mass of crypto-mining operations prior to the country-wide clampdown on the matter, it remains unclear exactly what percentage of the mining activities have been moved offshore or have been effectively shut down.
Growing Electricity Concerns
The increased electricity consumption required to mine cryptocurrencies has been a growing concern – in China as well as in other countries around the world. Earlier this month, US authorities in the areas along the northern border of New York expressed their growing worries about the high electricity consumption of cryptocurrency mining operations and their supposedly negative impact on electricity prices for local consumers.
Users take advantage of high-powered machines in order to generate the substantial computing power required to produce certain cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This activity is particularly energy-intensive, which also causes miners to scout out locations which have easy access to cheap electricity.
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