Malaysia’s Electric Utility Says Bitcoin Miners Stole $25M in Power
Marie Huillet's original article for cointelegraph.com reduced by 55%
Malaysian power utility firm Tenaga Nasional Bhd is tightening measures in a bid to stem the millions lost to electricity theft by Bitcoin miners. There have been 437 cases of mining-related power theft in Peninsular Malaysia over this time period, 370 of which were recorded in the state of Selangor. TNB is the sole electricity utility firm in Peninsular Malaysia and also the largest publicly-listed power company in Southeast Asia, with RM99.03 billion in assets.
Under Section 37 of Malaysia's Electricity Supply Act, those charged with power theft face a maximum penalty of RM100,000 or three years imprisonment. As reported earlier this month, Malaysian authorities raided 33 premises related to Bitcoin mining after detecting they were stealing power at a cost to the firm of RM3.2 million. While Malaysia permits Bitcoin mining and trading with no restrictions, the country's central bank has issued a statement that Bitcoin is not considered to be legal tender and that users are poorly protected from fraudulent schemes and operational risks.
This summer, reports emerged that police in China had reportedly gathered evidence of people laying cables via fish ponds to steal oil well power to fuel their bitcoin mining.
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