Utility firm steps in to stop the increasing case of illegal Bitcoin mining in Malaysia

March 7, 2022

Power theft for illegal bitcoin mining between 2018 to 2021 was evaluated to be at $550 million. Tenaga Nasional has started to seek tariffs, methods through which a legal supply can be established.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • Power theft for cryptocurrency mining is a common problem in Malaysia, but the country’s electricity utility has come up with a few ways through which this problem can be overcome. Tenaga Nasional Bhd. is looking to enact a new tariff for Bitcoin mining operators, where participants will be able to apply for a “regulated supply,” a Bloomberg report says.
  • The company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Baharin Din says that the illegal use of electricity for crypto mining is only going to increase in the upcoming days. Tenaga claims that illegal mining has leveraged illegal electricity connections, from 610 recorded cases in 2018 to 7,209 cases in 2021. Bahrain added that electricity theft in the same period can be valued at an estimated $550 million, for which 18 individuals have been arrested.
  • In order to bypass the regulators, crypto miners have resorted to illegal activities such as tampering with meter installations or powering their operations using only illegal connections with no meters. “The irresponsible perpetrators are doing it at the expense of the security and reliability of supply for the public at large. Unauthorized electricity connections can also be fire hazards,” Baharin said.
  • The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Malaysia has captured illegal Bitcoin mining equipment worth RM 54 million ($12.9 million). If compared to 2020, the worth of seized equipment was RM 1.26 million ($331,000), meaning a spike of 4,185%.
  • To arrest the illegal miners, Tenaga has been operating with other state agencies, including the anti-graft body, the police, the Energy Commission and the local councils. Technology can help too, says Paul Lim Pay Chuan, managing director and group chief executive officer of Malaysian electrical power technology company Pestech International Bhd. “Implementation of the likes of smart metering, meter data management systems, analytic software and digital power quality products will greatly enhance the availability of critical power demand and supply information.”


About the author

Tiasha Chatterjee is a content writer with a great curiosity to learn about new things. Combining this curiosity with her interest in the English language, she loves to write about different subjects, including blockchain. When not writing, you’ll find her surrounded by her cats, soaking up another book.



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