Major electricity theft has been exposed in several raids in Malaysia. The perpetrators produced the cryptocurrency bitcoin on a large scale. This process consumes very high energy, which made the perpetrators obtain electricity illegally.
• In Malaysia’s Miri region, bitcoins are said to have been produced using electricity from illegal sources
• Energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is huge
• The perpetrators were sentenced to a fine and imprisonment
Bitcoin is by far the most popular cryptocurrency. You can either buy it or make it yourself. Production, which is done via the graphics card processor, is called mining. According to PC-Welt, more blocks are being added to the Bitcoin blockchain. The miners then receive a reward in the form of bitcoins. Mining disadvantages: high energy consumption. It is no wonder that one of the manufacturers of Bitcoin supplies their computers with illegal power. Electricity theft was exposed in several raids in Malaysia earlier this year.
Jail sentence for electricity thieves
According to the Malaysian newspaper “The Star”, the police confiscated 1,069 computers and arrested eight people. According to reports from Hays Online, the accused allegedly minted bitcoin with illegally obtained electricity. The police raids were carried out in cooperation with the affected Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB). The theft of electricity is said to have cost 1.7 million euros. In addition, there were frequent blackouts. The now confiscated computer systems, valued at more than one million euros, were easily destroyed by the Malaysian police using a reel. Moreover, six of the eight people arrested have already been sentenced to a fine and eight months in prison.
Bitcoin as a Climate Killer
Thus, obtaining electricity from illegal sources can not only lead to a prison sentence, but may also lead to life-threatening situations. According to police in the Malaysian region of Miri, three houses have been burned this year due to homemade electrical connections. In light of this, the police and the energy company SEB would like to continue to closely monitor the mining operations and take the necessary measures if necessary. Due to the huge amount of electricity needed to produce cryptocurrencies, the process is under increasing criticism. According to the online magazine Tech & Nature, Bitcoin in particular is the most polluting of the environment compared to other coins. According to “Greenpeace” magazine, it consumes 116.12 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, which is almost equivalent to the consumption of the United Arab Emirates. If Bitcoin were also a country, it would be among the 30 most energy intensive countries in the world. Environmentally friendly alternatives are already being offered. Some cryptocurrencies already rely on renewable energies or use processes that require only a fraction of energy consumption.
Tim Adler / editors finanzen.at
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