Chinese Miner Arrested for Stealing Railway Power

The Paper recently reported that a man from Datong, Shanxi, China was arrested and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. His crime was that he was stealing power from a nearby railway station to mine Bitcoin. The convict had reportedly started a Bitcoin mining farm and he needed electricity to power his setup.

Xu Xinghua mined 3.2 Bitcoins in the period of 2 months. Though the amount seems meager, these Bitcoins are worth over RMB140,000 ($20,234 USD). The sentence was issued to Xinghua by the Datong Railway Transport Court on September 13, 2018.

Mining on his setup for two months used RMB104,000 (around $15,000 USD) worth of electricity. Xinghua fined RMB100,000 ($14,450 USD) along with a jail sentence for three and a half years. Additionally, the court has ordered the convict to reimburse the complete amount of electricity that was stolen and used.

Xinghua stole power from the Second West Yard of Kouquan Railway in the months of November and December 2017, the time when Bitcoin value had surged to $20,000. The stolen electricity was used to 50 Bitcoin mining machines and 3 cooling fans. He connected the power lines to the railway and operated his mining setup from a rented house.

Bitcoin mining is a booming business in China, especially in the city of Shenzhen. Companies like Bitmain have reached billions of dollars in value thanks to their Bitcoin mining hardware business. As the Bitcoin prices have declined since December 2017, the demand for mining has also reduced significantly.