Bitcoin miners in Malaysia have stolen more than $ 2 million in power since the end of 2020, according to a new report by police and Malay Mail in Johor Bahru State. Police have allegedly seized 1,746 bitcoin mining machines this week and arrested seven people who claimed to be part of a bitcoin mining crime “syndicate”.
The men reportedly made changes to the electrical monitoring hardware to show that their locations were in fact using very little electricity.
Johor’s police chief Datuk Ayub Khan Maddin Pichai said at a press conference on Wednesday that the police were investigating further to find out about the mastermind and other members of the syndicate.
“Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the syndicate also has links with syndicates in other states that carry out the same modus operandi used in their bitcoin mining activities,” Ayub Khan said, according to the Mail.
Police estimate that bitcoin miners committed approximately $ 22 million in electricity stolen in the area during 2020 alone. And while power theft is clearly a problem, theft is kind of beside the point from a global point of view. If there is no reduction in energy consumption for cryptocurrency mining, then there are very real problems ahead.
Cryptocurrencies require a tremendous amount of energy for the mine, with a recent survey estimating that bitcoin mining takes more power than the entire country of Argentina. And as long as people are churning through millions of dollars of electricity – whether paid for or not – to produce what is essentially monopoly money, the entire planet is going to suffer damage.
Meanwhile, millions of Texans still have no electricity, citizens of Austin are being asked to boil their water, and hospitals are not being evacuated in the midst of the crisis.
The future is staring us in the face and humanity is simply not ready.
In South America, heavy storms killed about 50 people and left millions without power.
It has been widely seen in Texas.
Freezing temperatures have also caused water pipes to burst, despite efforts by some homeowners to use blankets to keep them from freezing.
The state’s energy grid has been overwhelmed by an increase in demand as people try to keep warm in some of the coldest temperatures there in more than 30 years – 0F (-18C) earlier this week.
More than 13 million people – close to half of the state’s population – have faced some disruption in water services.
US President Joe Biden previously approved a state of emergency for Texas, which has been blanketed by snow and ice since the storm’s arrival over the weekend.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), there is still a storm warning in most parts of Texas, but temperatures will increase in the coming days.
The forecaster has warned of dangerous travel conditions and power losses in the eastern parts of the US on Friday, when a winter storm is expected to bring heavy snow, cold and rain and snow.
A so-called “boil water notice” has been issued for Houston and surrounding areas, with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advising that all water planned for consumption – even if filtered – boiled Must have been corrupted.
Only boiled or bottled water should be used, which includes brushing teeth, the CDC said.
The Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, urged those without electricity – and unable to boil tap water – to try to get bottled water wherever possible.
“The power will not be fully restored. I will probably say for another two days,” he told reporters at a press conference.
The mayor said Thursday that Houston police and disaster response teams will deliver bottled water to people with disabilities who do not have transportation facilities.
Mr. Turner also urged those who were dropping the taps to stop the pipes from freezing, in an effort to help stop the supply.
Homes in the state are not usually insulated for cold weather, meaning that indoor temperatures quickly collapse after the heating system fails.
Mr Turner said businesses and churches are being used as “warming centers” to help shelter some of the most vulnerable people, while also providing bottled water to residents.
“We are still in the midst of this winter storm,” he warned, urging people to avoid the streets or travel in the morning and evening, describing them as “the most dangerous times”.
As of Thursday, 520 public water systems were under water notice, the state commission said on environmental quality.
Governor Greg Abbott said 1.2 million Texans had restored their power so far, with more coming “on board”. According to the PowerOutage.us tracker, more than 217,000 people were without electricity as of Thursday afternoon.