Authorities seized 1,069 ASIC miners valued at $ 1.25 million.
Six of the defendants will spend eight months in prison and will pay a fine of USD 1,900.
Malaysian law enforcement authorities seized and later bulldozed 1,069 Bitcoin (BTC) ASIC miners. The equipment was illegally connected to the electricity grid, which caused losses to the local company Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).
The destruction of the equipment took place today, July 16, but the seizure of the miners, valued at 1.25 million dollars, occurred between February and April of this year. It was a joint procedure between delegates from the electricity company and police officials from the city of Miri, in the state of Sarawak, according to local media.
Eight people were arrested for the theft of electricity, six of them were jailed for eight months and they must pay a fine of $ 1,900. In total, the illegal connection to the network would have caused SEB losses of 2 million dollars. The measure to destroy the equipment was ordered by the court handling the case.
“The theft of electricity for Bitcoin mining activities have caused frequent power outages. In 2021, three houses were razed due to illegal electricity supply connections, ”the police reported in a press release.
A video that shows how the steamroller destroyed all the equipment, went viral on social networks during the morning of this Friday. In the images are watch how the police lined up all the miners in what appears to be the courtyard of a commandery. The operator of the heavy machine then stepped forward to crush the equipment.
It should be clarified that the conviction of the detainees is not due to the mining activity itself. The people were charged and sentenced for the theft of electrical power, not for operating Bitcoin miners. In other countries such as China, for example, mining activity is restricted and there have also been cases for the illegal use of electricity.
Bitcoin mining, in the eye of the hurricane
The mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that use the Proof of Work (PoW) protocol have recently been questioned by the energy consumption required by equipment to operate. However, recent studies show that the activity is sustained, for the most part, by renewable energy sources, a fact reported by CriptoNoticias.
According to data collected by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, Malaysian miners operate 3.4% of the processing power of the Bitcoin network. The Asian nation is only behind China (46%), the United States (16.8%) and Russia (6.8%).