Law enforcement officers in China have today arrested a ring of 22 people that were alleged to be illegal cryptocurrency miners. The criminal activity is said to have led to the loss of about $3 million of electricity power. During the operation, the police were able to seize 4,000 units of hardware devices used in mining.
The arrest came after a local power industry tipped off the police officers that there was an activity going on that was consuming abnormal amounts of power. The investigation is said to have lasted for almost two months before the miners were discovered and arrested today. An online statement made by the Zhenjiang police indicates that since New China was founded, today’s case was the largest in terms of the amount of electricity stolen.
A report made by the Zhenjiang-based power company indicates that a single mining unit used by the illegal miners was consuming between 25 to 50 kilowatts of electricity every day but at an industrial price which should not be the case.
It is important to note that even though some cities in China have banned Bitcoin trading, the country remains a crypto mining giant. A large number of large mining pools are based in China because the country has more than enough and cheap electricity. Additionally, the world’s largest crypto mining hardware producing company Bitmain is also found in China.
Alongside banning Bitcoin trading, China also cracked the whip on initial coin offerings, which is a way through cryptocurrency startups raises funds for their projects.
Cryptocurrency-related crimes continue to increase, and governments are putting in place measures to fight the evils. Earlier today, Bitpoint, an exchange based in Japan, was hacked and up to 3.5 billion yen, which is an equivalent to $32 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen.
It is such crimes that are hindering the mass adoption of digital currencies by most governments. I believe if the currency developers could find a way to curb this menace, cryptocurrencies would easily replace fiat currencies. That’s my take, we shall have to wait and see what transpires in the war against crypto crimes.