“If you look, you will find,” the saying goes. And sometimes you even find something that you weren’t really looking for. This is what happened to the British police in Birmingham. Suspecting a hemp plantation, the West Midlands Police went to look for a building in an industrial area just outside the city. What they found wasn’t drugs, however, but a bitcoin mining farm. But how did the wrong assumption come about?
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As “t3n” reports, hemp plantations and Bitcoin mining farms have something in common. Both have a very high energy consumption. According to calculations, the production of one kilogram of grass should consume around 5000 kilowatt hours of energy. However, the production of bitcoins – the first and most powerful cryptocurrency on the market – surpasses that. It is said that it would take tens of thousands of kilowatt hours just to mine a single bitcoin.
Pay attention to such high power consumption
When looking for illegal hemp plantations, the police pay special attention to such high power consumption, not only in Great Britain. Ventilation systems and heat can also indicate illegal activity – important clues for the investigators. The officials became aware of the building near Birmingham because electricity worth several thousand pounds was illegally diverted there.
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They found numerous cables and ventilation ducts on site. A heat source could also be perceived by police drone, it said. In addition, several people regularly came and went. About 100 computers that are apparently responsible for mining bitcoins were found.
Jennifer Griffin, Police Sergeant from Sandwell near Birmingham said: “That was definitely not what we expected.” Everything pointed to cannabis cultivation. The Bitcoin mining facility was only the second in the West Midlands region, said the policewoman.
The mining of bitcoins is not prohibited, however, stealing electricity is. According to the report, the farm operators have not yet been arrested. The police now want to locate and question the owner of the building, according to a statement.