- According to investigators, the mine was stealing thousands of pounds worth of energy from the mains supply.
- On May 18, police searched the flat after receiving information that led them to assume it was being utilised as a cannabis cultivation.
- According to authorities, these are all "typical symptoms" of a cannabis plantation. On entering the facility, detectives discovered a bank of roughly 100 computers but no cannabis.
Bangalore: UK — Police in the United Kingdom were hunting for a cannabis plantation when they discovered an illicit bitcoin mining.
The mine, which is located in an industrial complex on the outskirts of Birmingham, England, was stealing thousands of pounds in energy from the mains supply, according to West Midlands Police.
On May 18, police raided the apartment in Sandwell after receiving information that led them to assume it was being used as a cannabis cultivation.
According to investigators, a large number of persons visited the apartment at various times throughout the day, and there were several wiring and ventilation ducts visible. A police drone also detected a significant amount of heat emanating from the structure.
According to authorities, these are all “typical symptoms” of a cannabis plantation. On entering the facility, detectives discovered a bank of roughly 100 computers but no cannabis.
Jennifer Griffin, a Sandwell police sergeant, said in a statement, “It’s certainly not what we were anticipating.” “It had all the signs of a cannabis production set-up, and I believe it was only the second crypto mine we’ve come across in the West Midlands.”
Bitcoin miners utilize specially designed computers to solve complicated mathematical equations that allow a bitcoin transaction to be completed. Miners of the digital currency are rewarded for their work.
However, due of the amount of power consumed by the computers, the entire process is extremely energy demanding. According to Digiconomist, Bitcoin has a carbon footprint similar to that of New Zealand, emitting 36.95 megatons of CO2 each year.
“From what I gather, bitcoin mining is not illegal in and of itself, but certainly abstracting electricity from the mains supply to power it is,” Griffin added.
Although the computer equipment was confiscated, no arrests were made. Iran’s government declared a ban on bitcoin and other cryptocurrency mining on Wednesday, blaming the energy-intensive operation for outages in many Iranian towns.
According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, Iran accounted for about 4.5 percent of all bitcoin mining worldwide between January and April of this year. It was ranked among the top ten countries in the world, with China taking the first position with about 70% of the vote.
In an effort to reduce energy consumption, China’s Inner Mongolia province aims to prohibit new cryptocurrency mining ventures and shut down current operations.