Huge energy requirements: For new bitcoins: Bulgarians steal electricity from an entire city
Bitcoin is worth it – still. At just under $ 11,450, the price is nowhere near the old records, but “digging” for digital coins can be profitable at the right electricity prices. But that wasn’t enough for two Bulgarians. They wanted to get rich for free.
The cryptocurrency Bitcoin was a real profit maker this year. The value of digital coins has increased by a good 60 percent since the beginning of the year. Recently, the price even scratched the $ 12,000 mark, making it more expensive than it has been in over a year.
At the current rate of $ 11,447 per Bitcoin, it is worthwhile for crypto fans to “mine” for the coins. In what is known as mining, computers – now mostly specialized hardware – calculate hash values. Whoever reaches the correct hash value first receives the reward for creating a new block in the blockchain, the decentralized register of all Bitcoin.
The more computing power is used, the higher the chance of finding this hash and getting Bitcoin for it. With each new block, the miners receive 6.25 Bitcoin, which is equivalent to a good 71,500 dollars. A new block is generated about every ten minutes. So not a bad salary.
A real industry has therefore developed around mining – with an immense hunger for electricity. The Digiconomist platform estimates that around 67 terawatt hours are consumed worldwide to mine Bitcoin. This corresponds roughly to the annual consumption in the Czech Republic.
Bitcoin mining is only worthwhile if electricity costs are low
Such electricity consumption naturally costs. The whole thing will only be profitable if the electricity to run the processors is cheap enough. In June, the business magazine “Forbes” reported that the costs of Chinese miners are between 5,000 and 8,500 dollars per Bitcoin – but at an electricity price of 0.04 US cents per kilowatt hour. For comparison: In Germany, the kilowatt hour last cost the equivalent of 37 US cents.
So nothing works in mining without cheap electricity. In Bulgaria, therefore, two men tried to mine for Bitcoin completely free of charge. As the Bulgarian news agency Novinite reported, a 31-year-old and a 38-year-old stole electricity for the operation of two Bitcoin farms for months.
Perpetrators stole the electricity consumption of an entire city
The perpetrators proceeded “extremely professionally”, said a representative of the utility CEZ. According to the supplier, the stolen electricity corresponds to the consumption of the 44,000-inhabitant city of Kyustendil in a summer month. The representative added that this was the largest electricity theft that the supplier had ever seen.
The two farms had already been in operation for a good year and a half, with electricity only being stolen for periods of six and three months, respectively, it said. One of the perpetrators was already known to the authorities – he had already been convicted of payment fraud. In the meantime, according to Novonite, the two men are free again after a 24-hour arrest, although a lawsuit about the electricity theft is already on the way.
The Bitcoin farms, in turn, were sealed and the mining equipment was taken into custody. It is not clear whether the whole thing was worth it for the two perpetrators – because how much Bitcoin the electricity thieves were able to mine and silver with the jerked electricity is not known.
Update: Controversial draft constitution – Bulgaria’s Minister of Justice wants to leave
The Bulgarian Justice Minister Danail Kirilov has announced his resignation after severe criticism of a draft constitution. This came as a surprise after a meeting between Kirilov and Prime Minister Boiko Borisov on Wednesday. The government in Sofia announced that Borissov would only decide on his resignation after talks with his coalition partners