Six suspects have been arrested in Klingenthal, Germany, in connection with a cryptocurrency mining farm that has been operating on stolen electricity, at a cost of $250 000. The suspects, four men and one woman were arrested on charges of stealing electricity in order to mine cryptocurrencies.
Police identified a mining operation located at PGH Elektro, a former electrical services company, reported local news site, FreiePresse. At least 49 computers were found, with 30 of them equipped with specialised mining hardware, including 80 graphics processing units (GPUs), which are widely used in the crypto mining industry.
Depending on the cryptocurrency being mined, the electricity costs can be enormous because of the massive amount of energy required. According to 2017 research conducted by a UK-based energy comparison tariff service, Power Compare, the average electricity used to mine Bitcoin exceeded the energy consumption of 159 countries throughout the world. A 2018 report can be seen here.
Electricity For Cryptocurrency Being Tapped All Over The World
This case is not unique, theft within the cryptocurrency mining industry is rampant with examples from all over the world. In December last year, a bitcoin miner in Taiwan was arrested and accused of using $3.2 million in stolen electricity and mining $14.5 million in crypto. And in October, a Chinese man was sentenced to three-and-a-half years for stealing electricity directly from the Chinese train network’s power lines, the electricity was used to power 50 mining rigs and three cooling fans in a rented property near the train lines.
Cryptocurrency mining was originally performed using central processors (CPUs). However, its limited processing speed and high power consumption led to limited output, rendering the CPU-based mining process inefficient. GPU-based mining offers multiple benefits over the use of CPU. The bottom line is that the video processing GPUs are designed for more sophisticated actions when it comes to similar and repetitive work, than in performing diversified multi-tasking functions like those of the CPU.