Bitcoin miner jailed for stealing electricity worth £32,000

Bitcoin miner jailed for stealing electricity worth £32,000

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Sanjay Singh pleaded guilty and received a prison sentence of 13 months

A UK court has jailed a Bitcoin miner arrested for stealing electricity estimated to be worth around £32,000, which the prosecution said he used to mine the cryptocurrency.

Sanjay Singh, who was revealed to have powered his BTC mining machines on stolen power, pleaded guilty to the charges and received a 13-month prison sentence, according to local news published on 14 October.

Over 200 BTC mining machines

Singh was arrested after investigations showed he was the one responsible for illegal connections at two locations in the Leicestershire area. According to Crown Prosecution Service officials, the miner connected over 200 Bitcoin mining devices to the power lines at an old factory at Coalville and a closed nightclub in Loughborough.

The mining activities are said to have led to an overload at a substation, with an estimate of the amount of electricity he stole put at £32,000 (about $44,000).

Singh allegedly committed the offences on two separate occasions, with the power abstraction recorded at the nightclub happening even after his initial arrest and with investigations still ongoing.

CPS official Andrew Baxter said that while Bitcoin mining was a legitimate activity under UK law, Singh’s jailing is because of the theft that was motivated by greed. According to Baxter, the miner was simply “not honest enough” and seemed not to consider his use of illegally acquired energy as a criminal activity.

Bitcoin mining relies on electricity or power from other energy sources to run the mining machines, with miners rewarded in Bitcoin for creating new coins and securing the network from attack. Miners can hold onto the coins they receive or sell for a profit.

The price of Bitcoin today is $58,000, which is about 10.5% off its all-time high near $65,000.

As miners look for countries with cheap and abundant power, countries like Canada, Kazakhstan and Russia have emerged as attractive locations. China recently ceded its position as the top destination for miners, with the US taking that mantle.

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