HEFEI, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Police in east China's Anhui Province confiscated over 200 computers used to mine bitcoin and ethereum cryptocurrency after the local power grid operator reported abnormal electricity usage, local police said Thursday.
Hanshan County police found that the electricity meter for the suspected cryptocurrency mining operation had been short-circuited, which was likely an attempt to dodge the power bill.
The suspect, surnamed Ma, allegedly stole 150,000 kw hours of electricity in more than one month.
Ma told police that he bought the computers in April in the hopes of making money through mining, but found out the daily power cost was more than 6,000 yuan (927 U.S. dollars). He had not made any profits when he was caught.
Bitcoin and ethereum mining are heavily power-consuming processes depending on high-performance computers. Bitcoin and ethereum are different versions using the blockchain technology.
The Chinese government has toughened regulation over bitcoin and other digital cryptocurrency to rein in financial risks, with exchanges closed and trading halted.