Sanjay Singh, 40, has been jailed after stealing £32,000 ($44,000) worth of electricity to mine Bitcoin at two sites in Leicestershire, England, per Leicestershire Live.
“He was in the business to make money from his Bitcoin enterprise but was not honest enough to meet the cost of running the machines required to run the operation,” reportedly said Andrew Baxter of the Crown Prosecution Service.
Singh has been sentenced to 13 months and two weeks in prison after being charged with two counts of abstracting electricity.
He was due to stand trial in court on October 11 but pleaded guilty to both offenses.
How did Singh do it?
Singh was first detected when a power provider reportedly opened an investigation into a fault that was caused by his mining activity overloading the system.
The investigation showed that Singh’s premises had been tampered with, resulting in Singh reportedly cheating the provider out of thousands of pounds worth of electricity.
That took place in an industrial unit near Coalville, but while the investigation was ongoing, Singh reportedly repeated the same offense at a local nightclub.
“As well as the dishonesty involved, the way Singh approached both premises left wires dangerously exposed, which put people at risk of serious harm,” Baxter added.
Bitcoin mining and electricity consumption
It is well-documented that Bitcoin mining consumes immense levels of electricity.
According to Cambridge University, the Bitcoin network consumes approximately 100 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year. This means that the Bitcoin network consumes more electricity per year than most of the world’s countries.
In turn, this translates to a negative—and widely criticized—impact on the environment. According to Cambridge University, only 39% of the Bitcoin network is fueled by renewable energy sources.
Yesterday, new data found that the United States now holds the largest market share of the world’s Bitcoin mining activity, taking the mantle after China clamped down on mining.