China is once again cracking down on cryptocurrency miners in the country, announcing that authorities had seized 190 illegal mining computers disguised as electric vehicle (EV) chargers.
While mining has been banned for a while, there are still many rogue miners who continue to operate.
The mining operation was caught by tracking the electric grid for anomalies. It showed high electricity usage but was hidden as the government thought the equipment was only used to charge vehicles.
The mining operation was caught in Guangzhou city by the Development and Reform Division of Guangzhou province. This government entity tracks and stops illegal mining operations which continue regardless of the aggressive fines and penalties involved.
The mining and EV charging equipment that was seized has a value of more than $791,000. According to a press release, the equipment had only been running for about 1000 hours. The current mining rewards compared to the loss of equipment means the operation did not have any net revenue.
Mining operations in China come with harsh punishments including social blacklisting. Despite this, many miners have continued to evade government crackdowns by using increasingly stealthy and unique ways to hide miners.
At the end of last year multiple mining operations were caught which included the use of state-owned institutions in China. These operations were shut down and as many as 50 people faced jail time due to the illegal activities.
Before China banned cryptocurrency it was a dominant force in mining. At its peak, Chinese miners produced 75% of the total hashrate of bitcoin (BTC).
This was so significant that at one point many worried about the centralization of bitcoin. After the government approved the ban on cryptocurrencies the total hashrate originating from China dropped to almost 0%.
Most of the mining equipment in China was exported and sold to miners in other countries. The leader in BTC mining is currently the US which jumped significantly in rankings after China banned crypto.
China has stated it will not stop cracking down on cryptocurrency and those who still use it in the country. The government has revitalized its effort to push cryptocurrencies out of the country including DeFi, NFTs, and digital asset payments.