Chinese bitcoin miner jailed for power theft

October 09, 2018
Chris Wheal

A Bitcoin miner in China has been jailed for three and a half years and fined just over £11,000 for  stealing electricity from a train network to feed his mining operation, according to reports in the Chinese media.

The Datong Railway Transport Court in the country’s Shanxi province sentenced Xu Xinghua after he pleaded guilty to stealing electricity from Kouquan Railway between November and December 2017.

The Bitcoin miner was tried and sentenced at a court in China’s Shanxi province

Xu used the power to run the 50-bit mining machine and three electric fans in his rented apartment. During this period, the miner stole nearly 104,000 yuan worth of electricity from the train network power lines and mined at least 3.2 Bitcoins, which were worth around $17,300 in April 2018.

Local police believe Xu could have earned more from his mining operation as the price of Bitcoin hit close to $20,000 in December 2017. Investigators pegged his earnings at almost $6,500 at current prices.

Bitcoin mining rigs require a great deal of power. In fact, the cost of electricity accounts for more than 70% of the value of Bitcoin earnings.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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