Illegal cryptocurrency farm in Paraguay stole USD 14 thousand monthly in electricity.
Paraguayan authorities raided a farm to mine cryptocurrencies that worked clandestinely and stole electricity for its operations in the city of San Estanislao (Santaní), located in the department of San Pedro, in the eastern region of that country.
The information was published this May 22 by the National Electricity Administration (ANDE), a Paraguayan public company responsible for the operation of the electric power transmission and distribution system. According to the ANDE statement, the judicial bodies proceeded to the search, after receiving a complaint and detecting a 1,000 kVA transformer that was directly connected to the Medium Voltage network of the state entity.
They add that the transformer was used to power “a significant amount of computer equipment and refrigeration appliances”, which were supposed to be used for cryptocurrency mining. Although the information does not specify the type of cryptoactive, it is presumed that it is bitcoin mining equipment.
According to the calculations of the company, the loss caused by unbilled energy could reach 85 million guaraníes per month (around USD 13,000), which adds about 1,020 million guaraníes per year (more than USD 160,000). In this sense, although those responsible for the theft of electricity are not identified, it is pointed out that they must pay a fine that amounts to 5 times the value of the stolen energy.
Also, the Paraguayan laws establish a penalty of 3 years in prison for the crime of subtraction of electric power. In this regard, it is worth noting that cryptocurrency mining, up to now, does not have any type of regulation in the South American country, even though it has become very popular in eastern Paraguay.
As for the theft of electricity to operate mining farms, it has become a usual practice although it is punishable in several countries. A few months ago, some 100 mining equipment were detected that were illegally connected to the public electricity grid of a Spanish industrial zone. Also in Spain a man was arrested who allegedly stole electricity from the company where he worked to mine cryptocurrencies.
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