The U.K. Police raided a warehouse in hopes to find a cannabis farm but instead, they found banks of computers illegally siphoning the electricity needed to mine Bitcoin.
The U.K. Police in West Midlands, England seized around 100 supercomputer units that were working to bypass the local power grid. They discovered the warehouse through a drone that was sent to survey the site, which detected a considerable heat source.
Mining devours massive amounts of power, racking up huge bills for dedicated miners. The process, which needs computers to solve complex math problems to create new coins, now uses 66 times more electricity than in 2015, Citigroup Inc. said in a recent report. The Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge estimates it uses more electricity globally in a year than the Netherlands.
Police Sergeant, Jennifer Griffin said, “It’s certainly not what we were expecting. It had all the hallmarks of a cannabis cultivation set-up.”
The police said they hadn’t yet made any arrests but believed thousands of pounds worth of power had been taken away from the grid. Griffin further stated, “Mining for cryptocurrency is not itself illegal but clearly abstracting electricity from the mains supply to power is.”
This is the second illegal mining operation the local force has discovered in the region.
The cryptocurrency market capitalization is currently down 7.16% in the last 24 hours to trade at $1.61 trillion.