Malaysia is literally crushing thousands of illegal Bitcoin miners

Authorities in Malaysia destroyed more than $1.2 million worth of Bitcoin mining rigs after they were confiscated for operating illegally.

In a video posted today from local news outlet DayakDaily, police in the city of Miri on the island of Borneo and the Sarawak Energy company arranged for a steamroller to run over 1,069 Bitcoin (BTC) miners. The rigs were reportedly confiscated from residents of Malaysia attempting to illegally mine the cryptocurrency using stolen electricity between February and April.

According to a Friday report from Malaysian newspaper The Star, the disposal of the mining machines — worth roughly $1.26 million — occurred at the Miri district police headquarters today. Authorities said three houses in the area had been destroyed this year due to illegal Bitcoin mining, while the Sarawak Energy company lost an estimated $2 million from the operations.

It’s unclear why authorities in Malaysia outright destroyed the miners rather than attempting to reap some value from the parts. Officials in Iran, Turkey and other countries where mining is banned or restricted have been conducting raids on illegal crypto mining operations for some time, often resulting in arrests, fines, and seizure of the rigs.

However, there are few if any reports of the machines being crushed by a steamroller or destroyed in so thorough a manner. Chinese authorities reportedly auctioned more than 2,000 rigs in February that had been seized for similar reasons.

The Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance estimates that Malaysia contributed 3.44% to Bitcoin’s total monthly hashrate as of April. The country has an annual energy consumption of more than 147 terawatt-hours.

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