Sanjay Singh pleaded guilty and received a prison sentence of 13 months
A British court has sentenced a Bitcoin miner to prison for stealing electricity worth an estimated 32,000 pounds, which he used to mine the cryptocurrency, according to prosecutors.
Sanjay Singh, who was known to have run his BTC machines on stolen electricity, pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to a 13-month prison term, local news reported on Oct.14.
Over 200 BTC scrapers
Singh was arrested after investigations revealed he was responsible for illegal hook-ups at two locations in the Leicestershire region. According to prosecutors, the miner has connected over 200 Bitcoin mining devices to the power lines of an old Coalville factory and a closed nightclub in Loughborough.
The mining activity is said to have caused an overload at a substation, with the amount of electricity stolen estimated at 32,000 pounds (about $44,000).
Singh is alleged to have committed the offences on two separate occasions, with the blackout recorded at the nightclub taking place even after his initial arrest and with investigations still ongoing.
CPS official Andrew Baxter said that while Bitcoin mining was a legitimate activity under UK law, Singh’s detention was due to the theft motivated by greed. According to Baxter, the miner was simply “not honest enough” and did not seem to consider his use of illegally acquired energy as a criminal activity.
In Bitcoin mining, the mining machines are powered by electricity or electricity from other energy sources. Miners are rewarded in Bitcoin for creating new coins and protecting the network from attacks. The miners can keep the coins received or sell them at a profit.
Bitcoin’s price is now at $58,000, about 10.5% below its all-time high of $65,000.
As mining companies look for countries with cheap and abundant energy, countries like Canada, Kazakhstan, and Russia have proven to be attractive locations. China has recently relinquished its position as the top destination country for mining companies and the US has taken that position.