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Indonesian authorities crack down on illegal Bitcoin mining operations

Bitcoin mining

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TL;DR

  • Indonesian authorities conducted raids on ten sites involved in illegal Bitcoin mining over the Christmas weekend.
  • The suspects, accused of stealing electricity from the national grid, were found with 1,314 bitcoin rigs, resulting in approximately $100,000 in losses to the state.
  • The crackdown reflects a global trend of governments addressing the environmental and regulatory challenges associated with illicit crypto-mining activities.

Over the Christmas weekend, Indonesian authorities conducted a targeted operation, raiding ten sites suspected of illegal Bitcoin mining activities. The crackdown addressed the illicit use of electricity from the national grid to power these operations.

Energy theft and massive seizures

In Medan, North Sumatra, authorities discovered 1,314 bitcoin rigs at the raided sites. The 26 individuals detained were accused of stealing electricity by tapping into utility poles owned by the state electricity company PLN. Also, the estimated losses to the state amount to approximately 14.4 billion Indonesian rupiah or $100,000 over the past six months.

The seized bitcoin mining machines, totaling 1,300, were found to be consuming a substantial amount of electricity, equivalent to the yearly energy consumption of around 7,500 individuals in the country. The confiscated machines were billed to consume 1,800 watts each, highlighting the scale of the operation.

In response to the illegal activities, the PLN, Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company, is actively collaborating with law enforcement. PLN officials reported threats and resistance during the operation, emphasizing the need for close coordination with the police, particularly the North Sumatra Regional Police.

Inspector General Agung Effendi, the North Sumatra Police Chief, revealed that the illicit mining activities had been ongoing for an estimated six months. The 26 arrests were made across the ten locations, signaling a decisive effort to curb such illegal operations.

Environmental concerns and global context

Beyond the financial impact on the state, concerns about the environmental effects and the local community have emerged. Students have urged authorities to investigate the mining activities further, underlining the potential broader consequences of unregulated crypto mining.

This incident in Indonesia aligns with a global trend of governments cracking down on illegal crypto-mining operations. Similar cases have been reported on various continents, with authorities emphasizing the need for proper regulation and registration of such activities.

Future regulatory measures and pro-crypto stance

Despite this incident, Indonesia maintains a pro-crypto stance and is actively looking to regulate the space further. The country has mandated all crypto exchanges to register with the Commodity Futures Exchange (CFX) by August 2024 to continue operations.

As the global conversation around the environmental impact of crypto mining intensifies, Indonesia’s move to address electricity theft in the context of Bitcoin mining aligns with a broader effort to regulate the industry responsibly.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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