(Yicai Global) April 15 -- Police in China's central Henan province have cracked a gang that stole electricity equivalent to 40 years of consumption for a family of three in order to fuel a large-scale bitcoin mining operation.
Police in Pingdingshan seized more than 1,700 mining rigs, one transformer and several distribution units, state-backed National Business Daily reported, adding that it was the biggest such case in the prefecture-level city's history.
Local energy providers in conjunction with law enforcement confirmed that 21 similar cases involving mining rigs had emerged recently.
Many crypto-miners siphon off energy from utilities to reduce the cost of production as the bitcoin price falls. Another case emerged in January in Cangzhou, northern Hebei province, with over 1,000 rigs seized along with 1,000 kilovolt-ampere transformers. Police in the city reported that over 4,000 mining machines have been used in such operations since the start of the year.
Editor: William Clegg