Bitcoin Mining is a power-intensive activity, and it consumes a lot of electricity. A report by Cambridge last month showed that Bitcoin consumes more electricity than the entire country of Switzerland. While the cost involved is huge, it can be devastating to electricity manufacturers if electricity theft is committed to mining.
In such an incident, recent reports suggest that electricity theft for Bitcoin Mining in Malaysia has caused a loss of more than $25 million for June. The loss was reported by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the power utility company of the Asian country. The company has stated that it has will take strict action against perpetrators, and will penalize them heavily.
The problem of electricity theft for mining is not a problem limited to Malaysia but prevails in many countries. Iran, for example, has imposed heavy tariffs of electricity used for mining, after it was discovered that miners manipulated the government subsidies to reduce the electricity bills. Similar problems have occurred in Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and also in a few European countries, including the eastern powerhouse Russia.
In a directive, the company officials have asked property owners to put their tenants’ name for billing; otherwise, if the company or individuals committing mining electricity thefts on rented properties, the owners could land in trouble. TNB is the primary and largest electricity provider in the country, and such losses put a serious dent on the company’s service to legitimate users. While the growing mining of Bitcoin and other crypto has raised alarmed for environmentalists, the blockchain and crypto industry must find sustainable alternatives for energy consumption.
At a moment when the world’s fossil reserves are depleting, options like solar must be on high priority. Nonetheless, if the utility companies like TNB starts using solar to generate electricity, thefts like these will do far more damage, short term costs of sustainable sources are far greater than conventional sources.