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Over the years, large-scale crypto miners have stopped using typical graphics processors intended for games and turned to using specialized machines called ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) to mine cryptocurrencies such as than Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Of course, the task of mining cryptocurrency is extremely resource intensive and can consume astronomical amounts of electricity to keep mining platforms such as ASICs operational around the clock.
You can better understand the complex workings of cryptocurrency via the video below:
The high costs involved have unsurprisingly prompted many crypto miners to steal electricity in an attempt to cut energy costs, and at times the amount of electricity they steal can run into the hundreds of thousands – and sometimes millions – of dollars.
Energy theft on the rise in Malaysia.
Police in Sarawak, Malaysia seized as many as 1,069 ASICs after discovering that a mining operation in the town of Miri had stolen electricity from the local power grid, worth $ 1.9 million (RM 8.4 million) in stolen energy. . While it is not illegal to operate crypto mining operations in Malaysia, secretly siphoning electricity from the grid definitely is.
Malaysia’s Electricity Supply Act warns against such acts and threatens violators with fines of up to US $ 23,700 (RM 100,000) and the possibility of five years behind bars.
In a report by local media outlet DayakDaily, the theft of electricity has contributed to at least three house fires in recent times, although there has been no indication as to whether this particular mining operation had anything to do with it. do with fires.
In this particular bust, six people were arrested and charged under section 379 of the Malaysian penal code for theft of energy, and Hakemal Hawari – the deputy commissioner of police – said the people in question would be locked up for eight months and charged. up to US $ 1,900 (RM8,051) per person.
A crypto mining farm in Malaysia inspected by officials at Tenaga Nasional. IMAGE: Free Malaysia Today
While this might sound strange, it should come as no surprise given that Malaysia is ranked by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance as one of the top ten places in the world for cryptocurrency mining.
Earlier in 2021, it was discovered that a Bitcoin mining operation had stolen US $ 2.2 million (RM 9.32 million) of electricity since February 2019. This only supports the company’s claims. Malaysian Tenaga Nasional, according to which counterfeiting of mining-related meters has increased by 300% in the past two years.
As for the failed operation at Miri, it has also been revealed that the ASICs used for Bitcoin mining have been confiscated and destroyed, as directed by the courts. And as if in an attempt to make a statement, authorities chose to unleash a steamroller on the machines, which were estimated to be worth around $ 1.2 million (RM 5.3 million) in total.
While some internet users have expressed their disappointment with the destruction of these valuable platforms, it should be noted that ASIC platforms cannot be reused to perform other tasks such as everyday computing or even gaming. games, which makes them quite useless outside of mining applications.
In countries like China, confiscated ASICs have been auctioned at greatly reduced prices to recover the cost of stolen energy, but in Malaysia, the authorities obviously saw fit to go for the more destructive option.
We can only hope that the scrap metal will eventually be recycled into something more useful to the general public, as it’s a ton of valuable machinery completely destroyed under the weight of a steamroller.
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Cover image from dayakdaily on YouTube.