- When British police were preparing to search what they suspected to be a cannabis farm, they instead discovered a crypto mine.
- Police said the mine was stealing thousands of pounds of electricity from the main power supply.
- “It’s certainly not what we expected,” police said in a statement.
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When police in West Midlands, UK were preparing to attack what they suspected was a cannabis farm on May 18, they instead discovered a cryptocurrency mine that was stealing thousands of pounds of electricity. to the main supply.
“It’s certainly not what we expected,” Sandwell Police Sgt. Jennifer Griffin said in a statement.
British police have been alerted to numerous people visiting the scene at different times of the day. Visible and bulky wiring and ventilation ducts also raised concerns. Following these suspicions, the police flew a drone over the location, which picked up a considerable heat source from above.
“It had all the characteristics of a cannabis growing facility,” Griffin said.
But upon entering, they discovered a bank of around 100 computer units in what is considered a bitcoin mining operation. Griffin said it was the only second such cryptocurrency mine that British police had encountered in the region.
“We have seized the equipment and we will be looking at the possibility of a permanent seizure under the proceeds of crime law,” Griffin said. “No one was in the unit at the time of the warrant and no arrests have been made – but we will check with the owner of the unit. “
Cryptocurrency mining has long been criticized due to its high energy consumption and environmental impact. Various research, including a study from the University of Cambridge, has shown that mining bitcoin around the world uses more energy each year than some entire countries.
“My understanding is that mining cryptocurrency is not in and of itself illegal, but it is clear that mining electricity from the sector to power it,” Griffin said.
Western Power, the Midlands electricity distribution operator, revealed that thousands of pounds of power had been stolen to power the mine, bypassing the normal power supply.
More and more governing bodies have expressed concern about the massive energy consumption required to mine cryptocurrencies.
On May 26, Iran banned cryptocurrency mining over the summer in anticipation of an anticipated increase in demand for electricity.
On May 19, China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region doubled its crypto-mining ban by setting up a hotline for the general public to report suspected activity.
In New York, a bill introduced in the state Senate aims to stop bitcoin mining for three years until the state has assessed its impact on the environment.