West Midlands Police in the UK has stumbled upon an illegal bitcoin mining operation which it believed initially to be a cannabis farm. The raid on the industrial unit where the mining was taking place was conducted with a drugs warrant based on intelligence it had received.
The police did not say who was behind the mining setup but the Daily Mail has received information from an anonymous source that “three English men” who looked “a bit nerdy and dodgy” had been travelling to and from the site for about eight months.
In a statement, Sandwell Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin said that the mining operation had all of the hallmarks of a cannabis farm. She said that while mining cryptocurrency itself is not illegal in the country, this operation was running on stolen electricity that cost Western Power thousand of pounds.
The equipment found at the site has now been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act. No arrests have been made but the police will be making enquiries with the owner of the unit to try to identify those involved.
The price of bitcoin had been rising for the first half of the year but in recent weeks the price has retreated. Due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, anyone thinking of investing should ensure that they're only spending what they're happy to lose if the price collapses.