Digging crypto currencies consumes a lot of electricity. The fact that electricity is expensive in Germany makes crypto mining highly unattractive. Resourceful crypto miners from the Zwickau district found an unconventional solution: they tapped into the public power grid and operated their 49 mining PCs with the stolen electricity.
The six defendants are said to have manipulated an electricity system and thus supplied themselves with electricity free of charge. A total of 80 graphics cards were installed in the 49 PCs used, over which Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash were scooped. 30 of the 49 PCs are special mining equipment.
The construction had been in operation since the beginning of 2017. Since the beginning of the activity, electricity worth about 220,000 euros has been consumed – about as much as 30 average households would have consumed during this time. A mobile task force and cyber specialists of the Saxony State Criminal Investigation Office searched the premises of the accused and confiscated the technology found there. Three of the accused were provisionally arrested.
The crypto-miners are now facing severe penalties. They are accused of the criminal offence of depriving them of electrical energy – colloquially referred to as electricity theft. If they are convicted, they face either fines or imprisonment for up to five years.