UK police accidentally discover Bitcoin mine while searching for cannabis warehouse

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 29, 2021, 03:06 PM IST


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British police set out to find a cannabis farm but instead found a Bitcoin mining centre

An uncanny bust recently happened in England. A sign of the times, British police set out to find a cannabis farm but instead found a Bitcoin mining centre.

Computer systems were found by the police, who claim that users were illegally siphoning electricity to mine Bitcoin. 100 computer units were seized by police officers in West Midlands, England. According to the police, the computers were attempting to bypass the local power grid.

The warehouse was discovered using a drone after the device detected a heat source and followed its trail.

Bitcoin mining is a lengthy and energy-consuming process. Miners usually get extremely high power bills. The process requires computers to solve complicated mathematics problems to create new coins. In a Citigroup report, it was revealed that mining bitcoin now takes 66 times more electricity than the same process needed in 2015.

According to the Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge, mining bitcoin uses more power ever year than all of the Netherlands.

“It’s certainly not what we were expecting. It had all the hallmarks of a cannabis cultivation set-up” Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin said in a statement on Friday. 

The police added that mining bitcoin is not illegal, but siphoning electricity for the same is illegal. No arrests have been so far, but police believe that electricity worth thousands of dollars was illegally taken off the grid.

This is the second such illegal mining operation to be uncovered in the region by police forces.