prices skyrocketed earlier this year, all cryptocurrencies were under the microscope by people around the globe. Specifically, energy-consumption concerns arose as miners built out massive mining operations to execute the “proof-of-work” system that makes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin tick. However, none of that matters if you are stealing electricity, as the Ukrainian Security Service discovered
earlier this month. Now, Malaysian police have found this problem for themselves, but they are sending a message with it.
For serious cryptocurrency
miners, custom-built computers for mining are called an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC
). These are significantly better than consoles and general PCs and can lead to higher rewards from mining. However, the ASICs also take quite a bit of energy, kick out quite a bit of heat, and can be expensive, costing anywhere from $500 up to $5,000.
Though, if you illegally tap into the power grid, then you solve the energy cost problem of mining with an ASIC. Unfortunately, this could also lead you to get caught, as miners in the city of Miri in Sarawak, Malaysia, have now found. Authorities in the city seized a whopping 1,069 ASIC mining rigs after the miners allegedly stole up to $1.25 million in energy.
Subsequently, six people have been arrested in connection with the operation, and “have been fined up to RM8,000 and jailed for up to eight months,” according to a statement from Miri police chief
ACP Hakeman Hawari in The Star
. Furthermore, the authorities then decided to steamroll the mining computers in an incredible show of force to send a message, which you can see above.
Perhaps steamrolling the ASIC miners may have been over the top, considering they could have been resold in or out of the country, but the point is clear nonetheless. Malaysian police will not tolerate electricity theft which can lead to blackouts and other issues throughout the country. In any event, let us know what you think of the Malaysian authorities’ actions in the comments below.