Malaysian authorities proudly posted news of more than 1000 ASIC Bitcoin mining rigs destroyed by steamroller in a carpark at police headquarters, as a part of a joint operation between regulation enforcement within the town of Miri and electrical software Sarawak Energy.
The mining rigs were destroyed by steamroller in the city of Sarawak, after the electric utility company of the Malaysian province accused the mining operators of stealing electricity for their activities.
Mining rigs destroyed by steamroller video goes viral
Assistant Commissioner of Police Hakemal Hawari said the crypto steamroller incident occurred after the miners allegedly stole $2 million value of electrical energy siphoned from Sarawak Energy energy traces.
The operators allegedly stole RM8.4 million ($2-million) worth of energy from the company. Authorities say the operation was scattered across four locations and six suspects have been arrested, between the ages of 24 and 64.
The police Chief of Sarawak says mining operations are becoming rampant in the city and three houses have burned down as a result of illegal electric connections. Malaysian officials believe that electricity worth $21.3 million has been stolen by illegal Bitcoin mining operations over the past year in the country.
Elsewhere in the world, the Security Service of Ukraine busted a crypto mining operation earlier this month for allegedly stealing electricity from the country’s power grid. More than five-thousand devices, including racks of PS4 Pros, were confiscated from a warehouse. Ukranian officials say about $256-thousand worth of energy was stolen.
A video of the crypto steamroller in action was posted by native Sarawak information outlet Dayak Daily, and went viral on social media.
Acting on a tip, government at the island of Borneo confiscated the rigs in six separate raids between February and April. In general, police destroyed about $1.26 million of mining apparatus.
Police opted to weigh down the mining equipment relatively than promote it, according to a courtroom order. Other international locations, like China, have taken a special direction, reportedly auctioning off seized rigs.
Hawari said that electricity theft by Bitcoin miners led to three houses burning down in the city and that there are no other active mining operations underway currently.
Crypto mining is the energy-intensive process which creates new bitcoin. When people are “mining,” that actually means they’re trying to solve a complex math problem using a highly specialized computer. Solving that problem is both what unlocks new tokens and verifies new transactions. However, running those machines at full capacity draws a great deal of power, which can jeopardize local power grids.
While mining for cryptocurrencies is not illegal in Malaysia, there are stringent laws around power use. Section 37 of Malaysia’s Electricity Supply Act threatens those who tamper with power lines with fines of up to 100,000 Malaysian ringgit ($23,700) and five years in prison, and the authorities very public display of the mining rigs destroyed by steamroller is clearly designed to make a point to would-be electricity thieves in the future.
Although we might wonder if the Malaysian’s wouldn’t have been better off simply putting the seized ASIC rigs into their own data warehouse, and mining the Bitcoin themselves instead of spending time and money on destroying them with the now infamous crypto steamroller? But then, nobody ever said anything government’s do makes any sense.