German police unearth crypto mining farm stealing electricity
A team of crypto miners from Germany was arrested for stealing electricity for mining operations on their cryptocurrency mining farm. Police officers found 49 computers mining cryptocurrencies in the town of Klingethal of south-eastern Germany. These computers were operating in the former electrical services company PGH Elektro located in the city.
The cryptocurrency mining firm has been operating since 2017, says a report from FreiPresse. The farm was stealing electricity bypassing a meter. Since 2017, the mining farm has consumed electricity of 30 households. The damage to the electricity provider is about 220,000 euros.
Electricity provider alerted the investigators about 220,000 euros worth of electricity being stolen. The investigators tracked down the area they found to be consuming higher amounts of electricity. A team of 121 people including police officers and tax inspectors discovered the mining farm which had five men and one woman operating the farm, who were arrested. The farm had 49 computers out of which 30 possessed specialized mining hardware. The computers also had 80 GPUs [Graphics Processing Units] installed.
PoW [Proof of Work] cryptocurrencies are the cryptocurrencies that are mined. The mining involves guessing a sequence of digits which makes the hash of the cryptocurrency. The guessing requires a fast computer and lots of electricity. The first digital coin, Bitcoin has difficulty adjustments which contribute to increased electricity consumption as the blockchain makes it tougher to guess the hash.
The number of guesses per second is known as a hashrate. As the difficulty rises the hashrate rises, therefore to maintain the hashrate the miners need faster mining equipment. Many new innovations have been invented which can handle more mining power like ASIC systems.
Crypto mining farms have incurred hefty losses in the crypto winter. Several mining farms, including Gigabyte, shut down blaming high costs and decreasing profits. Some miners blamed said that electricity costs would exceed the profit from mining. Some even sold their mining equipment as scrap metal.
Image via Shutterstock