Chinese police arrest 22 bitcoin miners whose operation used stolen electricity

Chinese police have confiscated approximately 4,000 bitcoin miners, xinhuanet writes. The operation was located in the Jiangsu Province in Zhenjiang and came to light after a local power company noticed heightened electricity usage. After a two-month police investigation, 22 people behind the mining operation were arrested. The gang installed the miners in nine factories it had rented. One of the suspects explained they used power theft devices in order to escape the electricity bills.

As each miner used between 25 and 50 kW hours of industrial electricity per day, the electricity theft amounted to nearly 20 million yuan (approximately $2.9 million), according to the power supply company.

China imposed a ban on cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in 2017. Earlier this year, China’s National Development and Reform Commission also included cryptocurrency mining on a list of industries it wished to phase out.