The German police busted a large mining operation for stealing upto 222,000 euros worth of electricity since 2017 in the city of Klingenthal. The investigating team of officers also found about 49 computers at PGH Elektro, formerly an electrical services company. A press statement said 30 computers were equipped with specialized hardware for mining cryptocurrency. It included 80 graphic processing units (GPUs).
The police arrested five men and a woman for stealing electricity. Reports say the mining farm has supposed to have consumed about 30 households of electricity.
However, this wasn’t a first-of-its-kind raid. In November 2018, a teacher in China was terminated from his job after he was caught using electricity from the school to mine Ether. He had been going at since for almost a year before the school’s management caught him. A similar incident was reported in December, whereby a Taiwanese citizen was caught stealing about $3 million worth of electricity to mine cryptocurrency. In the month of October 2018, a man in China was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for stealing electricity from a train network to mine Bitcoin.
Crypto mining consumes huge amounts of energy. Experts say that as the cryptocurrency market grows, especially Bitcoin, the processing power needed to mine them also grows. Furthermore, the crypto market has become more competitive and so has mining business. Miners are investing money into powerful computers to scale up their operations and remain profitable. And this has led to several government-led crackdowns, especially on illegal mining, across the world. Moreover, individuals or groups behind illegal crypto mining are usually caught and prosecuted.