China Man Sentenced to 3.5 Years Of Jail For Using Railroad Energy To Mine Bitcoins

China stance on cryptocurrency trading has been a clear one: they have banned cryptocurrency trading from their soil. But they have been strangely lenient towards cryptocurrency mining, though they have also punished “illegal” mining cases and energy theft severely. And it shows in today’s case.
A Chinese national named Xu Xinghua was prosecuted and condemned to serve jail time for the crime of stealing energy from the local train station to power his mining operation. According to the documents, the man connected a cable illegally to one of the poles of the West Second Plant of the Kouquan Railway and directed that energy for powering more than 50 bitcoin miners and two electrical fans for refrigeration purposes all day and all night. This crime was committed when bitcoin and other altcoin prices were sky high, during the last months of the last year.
It is believed that the energy theft operation lasted about a month and that Xi managed to mine more than a bitcoin from its miners. Unluckily for him, he got caught and now he has been convicted. More so, he has this bitcoin confiscated from him and now he also needs to pay the state for the electricity that he used.
This kind of crimes have become pretty common in mainland China due to the state of the cryptocurrency prices that makes bitcoin mining less profitable, and miners turn to energy theft to finance their operations while the price picks up. Earlier this year, a man was arrested for stealing power to fun his cryptocurrency mining farm of more than 600 miners, siphoning more than 150,000 kW of electricity between April and May 2018. The man alleged that he bought the hardware without knowing the running costs of a farm so big.
However, this case is extremely weird because it happened when cryptocurrency prices were still soaring and mining was extremely profitable at that time. However, giving jail time to this kind of crimes means that the Chinese government is sending a clear message to mining enterprises that are considering to incur in this kind of crime.

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