Chinese Bitcoin Miner Jailed for Stealing Railway Power

By Bryan Grogan, October 10, 2018

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A man in Datong, Shanxi has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison after it was found that he was stealing power from a nearby train station to fuel his bitcoin mining farm, The Paper reports.  

The sentencing was passed down in Datong Railway Transport Court on September 13 after the man, named Xu Xinghua, mined 3.2 bitcoins over the course of two months. That might seem puny, but 3.2 bitcoins are actually currently valued at in excess of RMB140,000. 

In the process of mining, Xinghua used RMB104,000 of electricity. He was subsequently fined RMB100,000 to go along with his jail sentence, while the court has also ordered Xinghua to reimburse the full amount of electricity used. 

READ MORE: Shenzhen Gangsters Use AI and WeChat to Facilitate Online Casino

Xinghua reportedly stole the power from November to December in 2017, a booming period for bitcoin, from the nearby Second West Yard of Kouquan Railway. In order to power his 50 bitcoin mining machines and three cooling fans, Xinghua connected to power lines at the railway, whilst operating out of a rented house.  

Bitcoin Mining Rig Image via Wikimedia

Bitcoin mining became big business in China, especially in Shenzhen, when the cryptocurrency reached its highest values last year. As prices have declined, so too has the demand for mining machines. 

While the current price of one bitcoin is approximately RMB45,800, if Xinghua had sold his 3.2 bitcoins in December 2017 he would have received as much as RMB430,000. 

[Cover image via Wikimedia]

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