On October 8th, a Chinese news portal reported that a man was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined 100,000 Yuan (about $14,428) for stealing electricity from a railway company for crypto mining.
According to the portal, the conviction was filed on September 13th by the Datong Rail Transport Court in Shanxi Province in China. According to the source, the man was accused of stealing about the equivalent of 104,000 Yuan (about $15,000) in electricity to power 50 crypto mining equipment and three fans that were active 24 hours a day during November and December last year.
The accused one, named Xu Xinghua, “stole the power of the pole near the Second West Plant of the Kouquan Railway” and during his crypto mining operations, he generated 3.2 Bitcoin (BC), about 120,000 Yuan (roughly $17,300).
The Chinese court also noted that Xinghua will have to pay electricity bills and that its crypto mining equipment will be confiscated. It should be noted that, of the 50 operating equipment, five were damaged during operations.
China is not ok with non-licensed crypto mining
The government of China indicated last July that the non-licensed activities of crypto mining would be closed as of September. On that occasion, they clarified that illegal Bitcoin (BTC) mining activities corresponded to those not registered with government authorities and that required a high unauthorized energy demand, in cases in which they did not have a private electricity service contract.
A month before the announcement, the seizure of more than 200 Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) mining equipment in Anhui province became known. In that case, the owner of the crypto mining equipment had stolen about 150,000 kW per hour for more than a month.
According to sources, 70% of the crypto mining in China is concentrated in a single province, called Sichuan, which suffered flooding last July, affecting operations. This area is attractive for mining because of the abundance of water resources and cheap electricity, low population density, and cold weather.