English police stumbled upon a Bitcoin mining operation when their drone detected a considerable amount of heat emanating from a warehouse in the West Midlands on May 18.
Suspecting a cannabis farm, the police were able to seize around 100 Bitcoin mining devices which were running on stolen electricity.
Detectives said they were tipped off about lots of people visiting the unit throughout the day and a police drone picked up a lot of heat coming from the building.
It’s certainly not what we were expecting. It had all the hallmarks of a cannabis cultivation set-up.Sandwell Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin
The computer equipment has been seized but no arrests have been made.
Bitcoin Mining Is Not Illegal But Stealing Electricity Is
The police said although it wasn’t illegal to mine Bitcoin, the issue was that the electricity was syphoned from the power grid, hence illegal.
Mining for cryptocurrency is not itself illegal but clearly abstracting electricity from the mains supply to power it is. […] It is just the second illegal mining operation the local force have discovered in the region.Sandwell Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin
We may see an increase in Bitcoin mining “operations” as it becomes easier to make it profitable with China clamping down on their mining farms.
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