China’s crackdown on block reward miners continues, and in its latest action, it has unearthed a secret mining farm and seized 190 mining rigs. The farm managed to stay hidden for so long by operating at an electric vehicle (EV) charging station.
The Development and Reform Commission in Guangdong province busted the secret mining farm this week in Guangzhou city.
Authorities in Guangdong, China’s most populous province, have been inspecting cities looking for illegal mining operations that have continued unabated despite the government’s ban. These authorities have busted dozens of operations, but those that remain have used creative techniques to evade capture.
Authorities mostly monitor the power grid for high electricity consumption, which eventually leads them to the miners. However, local sources say the farm in Guangzhou was operating from within an electric vehicle charging station. This kept the authorities away for months as they believed the high consumption was for EV charging.
In addition, the miners were hidden inside a closed-door operation, with high walls and a guard to keep them a secret.
Authorities seized 190 mining devices, worth an estimated 5 million yuan ($791,000). They claimed that the operation had been ongoing for over 1,000 hours and had consumed more than 90,000 kWh of electricity.
Despite the Chinese government’s strict ban on mining, which included social blacklisting for those found to continue operations, many miners still remain active in China. A report by cybersecurity company Qihoo 360 claimed that there were over 100,000 active block reward mining IP addresses in China a few months back. According to the report, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, and Zhejiang were the provinces with the most miners.
Aside from the mining farms, China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection claimed that many state-owned institutions were using public resources to mine digital assets in December last year. 50 people were arrested for illegal mining, 21 of whom worked at Communist Party agencies.
However, the Chinese government has been unrelenting in its bid to push out all miners from the Asian country. It has also revitalized its crackdown on ICOs, digital asset payments and is even attacking NFTs and the metaverse, although the latter hasn’t been deemed illegal yet.
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