Authorities in Zhejiang province in China have busted illegal block reward mining operations in 77 public entities. The authorities have been conducting an operation that screened over 4,600 Internet protocol (IP) addresses suspected of participating in the illicit act, reportedly nabbing 184 suspects connected to 77 publicly funded entities.
China has been cracking down on block reward miners this year, forcing hundreds to move their operations overseas or shut down. The economic giant has blamed the miners for power outages and an increase in its carbon footprint.
As it turns out, some of the miners have been right inside the government. The Zhejiang Cyberspace Administration revealed in a recent blog post that it had started an operation targeting these illicit miners in October across Communist Party agencies, public education and research institutes, and state-owned enterprises.
The agency screened 4,699 IP addresses across the province that it suspected were mining digital currencies illegally. It narrowed down to 184 IP addresses across 77 public entities that have been using government-funded utilities for block reward mining.
Other provincial agencies picked up the operation and cracked down on these entities, launching on-site inspections of over 20 entities and ordered the shutdowns of these operations. Staff who were found culpable were handed disciplinary penalties.
The Paper, a local outlet, claims that the illegal operations were using 260,000 kilowatt hours of electricity daily.
In a statement, the Zhejiang government stated, “The rapid upgrading of mining hardware and fierce competition in computing power have resulted in massive energy usage, which is contrary to the carbon peak and carbon neutralization goals of the whole province as a major energy importer.”
The crackdowns come at a time when China is experiencing a shortage of electricity to power its massive industrial sector, a crisis that’s threatening dire consequences to the global supply chain. This shortage has worsened in the past month, with the government being forced to reassure the public that it was working on a solution.
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