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Bitcoin Mining Revealed During UK Drug Arrest



British police were shocked when they raided a suspected illegal marijuana farm this week: instead of halogen bulbs and weed. They found that about 100 computers mined bitcoins.

Officers from West Midlands Police were forced into a warehouse in an area west of Birmingham known as the Black Country with a drug warrant. After intelligence identified it was used to grow illegal crops.

The exterior of the building can be seen with unusually large amounts of wiring and ventilation. and the drones measured the level of heat rising from it. which is a classic sign of the cannabis plant. But authorities raided to discover a large computer bank in what they suspected was a mine. cryptocurrency

They also found that the computers used stolen electricity by directly touching the warehouse̵

7;s off-circuit power supply. Police said the mine used electricity worth thousands of pounds (1 pound, equivalent to about $1.40).

Cryptocurrency Mining Especially for bitcoin has become a lucrative business. as its value has skyrocketed. It peaked at around $60,000 per bitcoin in April. but coin mining where computers compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles It takes a lot of energy and is expensive as well.

“My understanding is that mining for cryptocurrencies is not illegal. But it is clearly splitting electricity from the mains to power,” Sgt. Jennifer Griffin said in a statement on Thursday. She added that there were no arrests at that location. But the police will investigate with the warehouse owner.

British warehouses have “All the hallmarks of a cannabis cultivation setup,” says Sgt. Griffin, “it’s definitely not what we expected.”

Cryptocurrency Mining It has boomed as the value of bitcoins soared this year. As computers compete to harvest fresh coins by solving mathematical puzzles—a process known as mining—new coins produced are expensive.

Moreover When the computer solves the puzzle It can process bitcoin transactions on the network. and can charge a fee for those services Daily revenue from global mining hit $77.8 million on April 15, according to CoinDesk, the research site that tracks it. cryptocurrencies that same day The dollar value of bitcoin peaks at $63,381.20.

Images of a single unit in a crypto mining operation were revealed this week.


image:

West Midlands Police

The process of earning bitcoins is very energy intensive. As more and more people compete for the harvest cryptocurrency The more difficult the math puzzles, the more energy is required to complete them. Bitcoin’s high energy consumption has been criticized in recent weeks by Tesla. Inc.’s

Elon Musk.

Chinese officials have also recently stated that they will take measures to regulate bitcoin mining in China, one of the largest markets for it. Some mining services have begun banning mainland China internet addresses from accessing their platforms after those comments.

Iran this week banned crypto mining for four months following an unplanned power outage in the cities. President Hassan Rouhani told a cabinet meeting that crypto mining consumes 2 gigawatts of power from Iran’s power grid each. Day, according to the BBC.

The DeLorean time machine in “Back to the Future” only needs 1.21 gigawatts to travel through time, and 1 gigawatt of power is enough to power 110 million LED lights, the equivalent of 1.3 million horsepower, according to the data. of the US Department of Energy

Global crypto mining uses about 114 terawatts per hour of energy per year. That is more than the annual electricity demand of the Netherlands or the Philippines. According to a tool created by researchers at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School’s Center for Alternative Finance.

The indoor cannabis farm also uses a lot of electricity to power lights, fans, water pumps and heating systems. US cannabis farms It used about 1% of the nation’s electricity in 2012, according to a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Today, that’s nearly 40 terawatt-hours per year.

China’s latest warning on cryptocurrencies sends the market in the short term. WSJ’s Aaron Back explains why recent changes in the value of bitcoin, dogecoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies may point to a barrier to cryptocurrencies. Main acceptance. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters.

write to Paul J. Davies at paul.davies@wsj.com and Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com.

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