Bitcoin mine found in UK during police raid
A massive bitcoin mine was found in the UK this week following a police raid on a suspected cannabis farm.
The mine, which was located on the outskirts of Birmingham, was stealing thousands of pounds worth of electricity from the mains supply, police said with the miners using around 100 computers.
Inquiries with network operator Western Power Distribution found the electricity supply had been bypassed.
Police searched the unit on 18 May on the back of intelligence that led them to believe it was being used as a cannabis farm.
“It’s certainly not what we were expecting,” Jennifer Griffin, Sandwell police sergeant, said in a statement. “It had all the hallmarks of a cannabis cultivation set-up and I believe it’s only the second such crypto mine we’ve encountered in the West Midlands.”
“My understanding is that mining for cryptocurrency is not itself illegal but clearly abstracting electricity from the mains supply to power is,” Griffin added.
The computer equipment has been seized but no arrests were made.
Around 70% of all bitcoin is currently mined in China with the country's Inner Mongolia region planning to ban new cryptocurrency mining projects and shut down existing activity in a bid to cut down on the highly energy-consuming activity.