Electricity theft leads to seizure of 600 bitcoin mining rigs in China

The rigs are part of an underground effort to mine bitcoin, and is thwarted by the miners' consumption of stolen electricity

MANILA, Philippines – Chinese police seized 600 bitcoin mining rigs and 8 high-powered fans in the city of Tianjin.

The rigs were part of an underground effort to mine bitcoin, which was thwarted by the miners’ consumption of stolen electricity. 

According to Xinhua, the local electricity company saw unusual electricity consumption on one line, and pointed to a 28% increase in line loss, leading to increased load.

Police found the junction box for the poweruser’s electricity meter had been short-circuited, so it wouldn’t be billed.

The power consumption of the computers is estimated at “hundreds and thousands of yuan,” with 100,000 yuan being around $15,800 in current conversions.

Five people are being investigated, with another detained.

The news follows China’s push to stamp out cryptocurrency trading. – Rappler.com