A massive cannabis farm raided by UK police turned out to be a bitcoin mine

Crypto mine WM
The bitcoin ‘mine’ uncovered during industrial unit raid in UK.

  • When UK police were getting ready to raid what they suspected was a cannabis farm, they discovered a crypto mine instead.
  • Police said the mine said was stealing thousands of pounds worth of electricity from the main supply.
  • “It’s certainly not what we were expecting,” the police said in a statement.
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When police in West Midlands, UK were getting ready to raid what they suspected was a cannabis farm on May 18, they instead discovered a cryptocurrency mine that was stealing thousands of pounds worth of electricity from the main supply.

“It’s certainly not what we were expecting,” Sandwell Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin, said in a statement.

British police were alerted of numerous people visiting the location at different times of the day. Wiring and ventilation ducts that were visible and voluminous also raised concerns. Following these suspicions, the police flew a drone above the location, which picked up a considerable heat source from above.

“It had all the hallmarks of a cannabis cultivation set-up,” Griffin said.

But upon entry, they discovered a bank of around 100 computer units as part of what’s understood to be a bitcoin mining operation. Griffin said this is believed to be the only second such crypto mine British police have encountered in the region.

Crypto mine single unit WM_0
The bitcoin ‘mine’ uncovered during industrial unit raid in UK.

“We’ve seized the equipment and will be looking into permanently seizing it under the Proceeds of Crime Act,” Griffin said. “No one was at the unit at the time of the warrant and no arrests have been made – but we’ll be making enquiries with the unit’s owner.”

Cryptocurrency mining has long been criticized due to its heavy energy use and environmental impact. Various research, including a study from Cambridge University, has shown that bitcoin mining around the world uses more energy each year than some entire nations.

“My understanding is that mining for cryptocurrency is not itself illegal but clearly extracting electricity from the mains supply to power it is,” Griffin said.

Western Power, the electricity distribution operator for the Midlands, revealed that thousands of pounds worth of energy had been stolen to power the mine, bypassing the normal electric supply.

More and more governing bodies have raised concerns about the massive energy consumption needed to mine cryptocurrencies.

On May 26, Iran has banned cryptocurrency mining over the summer ahead of an anticipated surge in electricity demand.

China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on May 19 doubled down on its crypto-mining ban by setting up a hotline for the general public to report suspected activity.

In New York, a bill introduced in the State Senate is seeking to halt bitcoin mining for three years until the state has assessed its impact on the environment.

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Bitcoin tumbles 11% after China reiterates call for a mining and trading crackdown

Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin slid as much as 11% Friday, erasing earlier gains after China again called for a crackdown on mining and trading of the cryptocurrency.
  • China reiterated its stance in a statement from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, reports said.
  • Bitcoin was recovering from a mid-week selloff before China took renewed aim at crypto mining.
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Bitcoin turned sharply lower Friday following reports that China has reiterated its call to restrict mining and trading activities surrounding the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin tumbled as much as 11%, to $35, 671.04, at 3:44 p.m. in New York after earlier climbing as much as 5%.

It is necessary to “crack down on bitcoin mining and trading behavior, and resolutely prevent the transmission of individual risks to the social field,” Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and the State Council said in a statement released late Friday local time, according to CNBC.

The statement derailed a recovery in bitcoin after the cryptocurrency suffered a more than 35% sell-off in a matter of days. Its most recent leg down was catalyzed by the People’s Bank of China saying digital tokens can’t be used as a payment form by financial institutions.

China has previously pledged to crack down on mining operations in a bid to reduce carbon emissions. This week, the government in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region said it had set up a hotline, email, and mail address for the general public to report any outlying crypto-mining operations that are still active in the region.

The country is aiming to reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and reach peak carbon emissions before 2030.

Bitcoin is now on pace for a 24% weekly decline.

Read more: 7 crypto heavyweights told us what’s behind the sudden sell-off that erased over $400 billion from the market in just 24 hours – and whether now is the time to ‘buy the dip’

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Inner Mongolia doubles down on crypto-mining ban and sets up a hotline for the general public to report suspected activity

bitcoin mining servers
  • China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has set up a hotline for the general public to report any outlying cryptocurrency-mining operations that are still active in the region.
  • Its a move to further crack down on mining operations that could jeopardize China’s goal to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Inner Mongolia was once a hub for crypto-mining operations but has tried to fully clear them out of the region.
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The government in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is cracking down further on cryptocurrency-mining operations.

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Development and Reform Commission announced on Tuesday that it has set up a hotline, email, and mail address for the general public to report any outlying crypto-mining operations that are still active in the region.

The commission is also targeting mining companies that are posing as data centers and enjoying preferential policies in tax, land, and electricity prices, and any company that offers land rental services for crypto mining operations.

The creation of a hotline comes after the commission announced in March it was trying to fully clear out and shut down all virtual currency mining projects by the end of April 2021, per The Block.

According to Cointelegraph, Inner Mongolia was once a hub for cryptocurrency mining operations, and accounted for 7.71% of the global Bitcoin hash rate from September 2019 to April 2020.

Now, China has pledged to reduce carbon emissions, and Chinese authorities have cracked down on mining operations. China pledged in 2020 to reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and reach peak carbon emissions before 2030.

The announcement from Inner Mongolia comes as the cryptocurrency market experiences a steep sell-off. As of Wednesday afternoon, the global crypto market cap is $1.6 trillion, a 18.46% decrease over the last day, according to CoinMarketCap.

Read more: ‘Wolf of All Streets’ crypto trader Scott Melker breaks down his strategy for making money using ‘HODLing’ and 100X trade opportunities – and shares 5 under-the-radar tokens he thinks could explode

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