Sanjay Singh, 40, was sentenced to prison after stealing £32,000 ($44,000) in electricity to mine Bitcoin at two sites in Leicestershire, England.
“He was in the business to make money from his Bitcoin venture but was not honest enough to meet the cost of running the machines required to run the operation,” according to Crown Prosecution Service Andrew Baxter.
Singh received a 13-month and two-week prison sentence after being charged with two counts of stealing electricity.
He was scheduled to go on trial on October 11, but instead pleaded guilty to both charges.
How did Singh pull it off?
Singh was discovered when a power provider allegedly opened an investigation into a fault caused by his mining activity overloading the system.
The investigation revealed that Singh’s premises had been tampered with, leading to Singh allegedly defrauding the provider of thousands of pounds in electricity.
This occurred in an industrial unit near Coalville, but while the investigation was underway, Singh allegedly committed the same offense at a nearby nightclub.
“In addition to the dishonesty involved, Singh’s approach to both premises left wires dangerously exposed, putting people in danger of serious harm,” Baxter added.
Bitcoin mining and electricity usage
Bitcoin mining consumes massive amounts of electricity, as is well known.
The Bitcoin network consumes approximately 100 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year, according to Cambridge University. This means that the Bitcoin network consumes more electricity than the majority of the world’s countries do in a year.
Following China’s cryptocurrency ban, the United States has overtaken China as the world’s largest Bitcoin mining market.
As a result, the environment suffers a negative – and widely criticized – impact. According to Cambridge University, renewable energy sources power only 39% of the Bitcoin network.
According to new data released yesterday, the United States now has the largest market share of the world’s Bitcoin mining activity, assuming the mantle after China imposed mining restrictions.