Crypto miners stole $723M of electricity in Malaysia since 2018: Report

By Cointelegraph
11 days ago

Illegal crypto mining operators in Malaysia stole $723 million worth of electricity between 2018 and 2023, according to Malaysia’s deputy minister for energy and water.

Deputy Minister of Energy Transition and Water Transformation Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir made the comment during an event that saw the disposal of 2,022 seized items worth around $467,000, including Bitcoin mining machines and electrical equipment, according to a report by Malay Mail.

Nasir said these illegal mining operations are harming not only Malaysia’s state-controlled power operator Tenaga Nasional Berhad, but also locals in affected areas.

Crypto miners stole $723M of electricity in Malaysia since 2018: Report
Source: Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir

Electricity thieves typically avoid registering with the appropriate authorities and find ways to bypass electricity meters or divert electricity from power lines.

“The theft of electricity by those who mine cryptocurrency occurs because they believe this activity cannot be detected due to the absence of meters on their premises,” Nasir said.

“However, energy supply companies have various methods to detect unusual energy consumption in an area,” he added in explaining how Malaysian officials were able to seize over 2,000 items in an operation in October 2022.

Mining cryptocurrency isn’t illegal in the country but the act of stealing electricity to mine is, Malaysia’s Universiti Teknologi MARA explained in December 2022.

Related: Malaysian Electric Utility Raids 33 Illicit Bitcoin Mining Facilities

Malaysian officials have been seizing cryptocurrency miners since at least August, 2019, a procedure which Nasir says is carried out in accordance with the country’s criminal procedure laws.

Some of the machines were disposed of by being crushed by a steamroller.

Nasir said efforts to curtail illegal miners has been a priority for his ministry in addition to increasing Malaysia’s renewable energy sources.

Malaysia cracks down on unregistered exchanges too

Last year, in May, Malaysia’s Securities Commission Malaysia ordered cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global to close its operations for failing to register its trading services.

HATA Digital, Luno, SINEGY, MX Global, Tokenize Technology and Torum International are the only registered cryptocurrency trading platforms in Malaysia.

Magazine: Could a financial crisis end crypto’s bull run?

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