A Thursday report from China disclosed that the Kaiping District People’s Court of Tangshan City, Hebei Province has sentenced a 61-year-old woman to prison for stealing national power resources for the mining of bitcoin.
Tang Qiuping, the convict, who only had Junior high school education will now face a four months jail term as well as pay a fine of 10,000 yuan (app. $1,450) for her crime.
A court case was filed by the Tangshan Power Supply Company of Minbei Electric Power Co., Ltd. in October last year, charging Tang Qiuping for the theft of 17277.6 kWh of electricity valued at 8984.35 yuan (app. $1,300) from January 11 to October 2, 2018.
According to the report, the 61-old grandma admitted that the accusations were true when the police authority summoned her on October 2.
Tang Qiuping used the stolen 8984.35 yuan (app. $1,300) worth of electricity to run four bitcoin mining machines and generated a profit of 6500 yuan ($940) although she agreed to have sold some units of bitcoins before the arrest.
Her family members were reportedly regretful for her actions and offered to refund the 6500 yuan income, which is now paid, to the state treasury. They also paid for the illegally used electricity worth 8984.35 yuan.
Although it is legal to own bitcoin as well as send and receive the cryptocurrency in China, it is illegal to steal national power resources to operate bitcoin miners.
Tang Qiuping is not the first to be convicted for illegal bitcoin mining. According to a report early this month, China is considering a total ban of bitcoin mining operations in the country due to wastage of electricity.
This move by China is quite understandable, considering that the country still depends largely on fossil-based electricity. However, some countries are now implementing the use of renewable energy sources for their mining operations to mitigate problems such as global warming, climate change, electronic waste, etc