The Fact News Service,
London, May 29,
Drugs police in central England spotted the tell-tale signs of a cannabis farm, visitors at all hours, extensive wiring, ventilation ducts, and unusual amounts of heat being generated. But on closer inspection, they exposed another operation reliant on massive power usage: a cryptocurrency mine that was stealing electricity from the national grid. A raid by West Midlands Police uncovered the illicit operation at an industrial estate northwest of Birmingham, Britain’s second city.
The site housed around 100 computers and had bypassed electricity meters. It was empty at the time and no arrests were made, but police said they were investigating the unit’s owner. Mining cryptocurrency is a hugely energy-intensive process requiring large amounts of electricity in giant data centers.
Bitcoin mining alone uses the same amount of electricity a year as Switzerland does, according to Deutsche Bank analysts. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday announced a four-month ban on all cryptocurrency mining after his energy minister apologized for unplanned power cuts in major cities blamed on unlicensed miners.