Bitcoin Miners In Malaysia Steal Power Worth $550M

In the midst of a rise in energy theft cases for BTC mining in Malaysia, the nation’s power utility provider is suggesting new solutions to solve the problem.

Tenaga Nasional is considering adopting a unique tariff plan for Bitcoin miners. According to Bloomberg, the participants will be able to request for “controlled supply,” according to Bloomberg.

Moreover, the President of the organization, Baharin Din, stated that the illicit usage of power to mine virtual currencies is projected to expand in the days ahead. Tenaga reports that illegal Bitcoin mining using an unauthorized electrical connection accounted for over 7,208 instances in 2021, higher than the 610 recorded in 2018.

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Increased Cases Of Energy Theft

According to Bahrain’s analysis, the energy theft from 2018 to 2021 amounted to about $550 million, with 18 miners arrested concerning the robbery.

Furthermore, in order to evade regulations, miners have engaged in acts such as interfering with meter setup or fueling their operations without the use of meters or illicit connections.

“These irresponsible culprits are perpetrating these crimes at the expense of the public’s safety and reliability on the power supply. Unauthorized power connections can potentially be a fire threat,” noted Baharin.

According to an earlier report by The Finbold News Media, the Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Malaysia confiscated illicit BTC mining equipment worth RM54 million ($12.8 million).

In comparison to 2020, the amount of impounded equipment increased by over 4,185 % to RM1.26 million ($331,000). Tenaga has collaborated with many governmental institutions, including the police, anti-graft bodies, city councils, and Energy Commission.

Experts also advise using smart meters, meter database systems, and analysis tools to improve the availability of key power supply and demand information.

The Issue Of Cryptocurrency Regulation

Given that cryptocurrency mining is illegal in Malaysia, it is unclear how the initiative would be executed if it is authorized. However, virtual currency legislation in Malaysia is still a controversial issue. According to Finbold, the Deputy Minister of Finance for Malaysia, Yamani Musa, recently emphasized that cryptocurrencies are not classified as a financial choice in the country. The representative from the government stated that digital assets had not shown any signs of a worldwide currency.

His stance contrasts with those of countries such as El Salvador, which have already authorized Bitcoin as a legal tender in the country. The topic of crypto mining has been a significant topic in recent weeks as several nations have taken steps to set up taxes for miners. Bitcoin mining which uses the proof-of-work protocol, has been reported to consume a large amount of electricity. Different states attempted to provide a certain amount of electricity supply to the miners, but most of them have resulted in stealing electricity. 

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