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UK police stormed a Bitcoin mining shadow they thought was a weed operation

Not only is it energy intensive mining crypt raising ethical concerns for principals Bitcoin holders, is now causing havoc for law enforcement, too. In a strange turn of events, British police had shut down a Bitcoin mine for illegally stealing electricity after it was discovered by officials who thought it was a cannabis operation.

West Midlands law enforcement said they had been returned to their place after hearing information about “several people visiting the unit.” A police drone had also taken a considerable heat source from the site at the Great Bridge Industrial Estate in Sandwell. Of course, officers were convinced they were watching for the “revealing” signs of a cannabis factory.

But, when they entered the site on May 18, they found a huge bank of about 100 computers instead. Officials seized the equipment after discovering that Bitcoin miners had stolen thousands of pounds of electricity to power their operation. No one was home at the time of the raid, but police said they plan to contact the site owner.

Crypto mining is an expensive, time-consuming task, which essentially involves solving complex computational math problems in exchange for fractions of a token. A recent one study found that the energy used to create cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is larger than some countries including Sweden and the Netherlands.

Jennifer Griffin, Sandwell police sergeant, said: “It’s certainly not what we expected! It had all the distinct signs of a cannabis culture and I think it’s just the second crypto mine we’ve encountered in the West Midlands.” .

He added that while crypto mining itself is not illegal in the UK, stealing electricity is obvious. Chances are, the mine will not be fully functional in some time. Police said they have no intention of restoring the computers, with plans to permanently seize them under the Crime Project Act.

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