Report: China Discovered More Cryptocurrency Miners Stealing Electricity

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.