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Chinese local government auctions seized bitcoin mining machines

  • Chinese authorities have auctioned more than 2,000 bitcoin mining equipment seized from illegal miners.
  • About 4,000 miners and 14 bitcoins were confiscated.
  • China is home to the largest number of bitcoin mining operations due to the availability of cheap electricity.

A court in China has authorized the auction of more than 2,000 bitcoin mining machines that were seized by the local government.

According to reports, there are 71 bids for the mining equipment as miners line up to grab what they can.

About 4,000 mining machines confiscated

The authorities initially seized 4,000 bitcoin mining machines from miners accused of stealing more than 150,000 kW hours of electricity in just over a month. 

Apart from the mining machines, about 14 bitcoins were also confiscated by the police. The bitcoins were used to pay the electricity companies as compensation.

The court has sold 2,100 miners and it is still unclear what happened to the other 1,900 machines. 

The models of the auctioned mining machines include S9, S7, V9, T9+, Avalon 851, and Avalon 6.01. 

The previous owners of the mining equipment were convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Bitcoin miners and electricity theft

This is not an isolated case as the country has previously dealt with similar cases. In April 2018, Chinese authorities confiscated 600 bitcoin miners after a power company noticed a strange spike in its electricity usage.

It was discovered that six people involved in the mining ring altered a local power box.

A Russian church was fined $15,000 in 2018 after it allegedly carried out unsanctioned mining activities and consumed a large amount of electricity in the process.

China’s dominance in bitcoin mining

China is the undisputed global leader in bitcoin mining due to a number of reasons ranging from electricity availability to the manufacture of mining equipment.

According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, China accounts for 65% of Bitcoin’s mining hash rate. The United States comes in second place at 7.24%.

Electricity is a major factor in bitcoin mining. China’s cheap electricity gives it an advantage over its foreign competitors.

At the same time, China is home to several bitcoin mining pools and some of the leading manufacturers – such as Bitmain, Ebang International, and Canaan Creative – of mining equipment.

With bitcoin prices on the rise, an unknown Russian miner imported 20,000 mining machines from Asia last month and has already set up the equipment for mining operations.

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