The world is getting stranger every day. Case in point: The BBC reported today that West Midlands Police discovered a cryptocurrency mining operation consisting of “approximately 100 computer units” while searching a suspected cannabis farm.
Cryptocurrency mining is not that different from cannabis cultivation. Both can generate surprising profits, both depend on a fair amount of labor, and both require a significant amount of energy to generate their high-value products.
These last two similarities made the mining operation. “Detectives said they had been made aware that many people were visiting the unit throughout the day,” the BBC reported, “and a police drone picked up a lot of heat coming from the building. “
The report also claimed that the miners “stole thousands of pounds of electricity”. (Let’s hope they got up with their knees.) Instead of being used to power grow lights, however, that power was being used to mine an as-yet-unidentified cryptocurrency.
Mining operations have become increasingly controversial lately. Activist groups have opposed the creation of mines at power plants in upstate New York, for example, while parts of China have set up hotlines to report suspected miners.
Now it looks like they will cause problems on even smaller scales, as miners seek to maximize their profits by stealing electricity instead of paying for it themselves, which could also bring them unwanted attention from miners. law enforcement.
The saying goes “when you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras”. Right now, farming operations are the horses and mining operations are the zebras. How many more incidents like this, we wonder, will it take before this is reversed?