Cops On A Marijuana Drug Bust Discover An Illegal GPU And ASIC Mining Farm Instead
Spain’s National Police recently raided what they thought was an indoor marijuana plantation. In Santipone, located in the Spanish province of Seville, the agents instead found and dismantled a cryptocurrency mining farm that was stealing electricity. [Ed note: Talk about a *shocking* discovery, eh? I'll show myself out.]
Cryptocurrency mining is perfectly legal in Spain, but you’re naturally expected to pay for the electricity yourself. These crypto miners tapped into public electricity instead. The police agents initially thought the buildings were being used to cultivate marijuana, since both operations need lots of power. However, the massive cooling and ventilation equipment used led to other suspicions.
The agents entered and searched the stables hosting the crypto mining farm. In addition to finding the illegal connection to the electrical grid outside, the team found what appeared to be the initial setup for the mining farm.
The investigators seized 21 Bitcoin ASIC miners as well as other crypto mining equipment. There was another rig worth an estimated 13,000 EUR found, too. Most of the GPUs used in that rig appear to be EVGA GeForce RTX 30-series cards. In total, authorities estimated the equipment is worth more than 50,000 Euros. Check out the video of the raid below.
Altogether, authorities seized equipment worth an estimated 50,000 EUR. They believe the operation, even in its beginning phase, was already generating at least 1,000 EUR in profit each month. The operation was probably using 2,000 EUR a month of stolen electricity.
Remember, as much as gamers might like it to be different, cryptocurrency mining is perfectly legal in most jurisdictions. The practice definitely generates a lot of controversy, though, especially with PC gamers struggling to compete with crypto miners to find affordable graphics cards.
The thing is, mining crypto uses a tremendous amount of electricity, and generates heat like you’d never imagine. In December, a crypto farm in Thailand was destroyed in a fire, possible from excess heat and/or wiring faults. The fact that this operation was using stolen electricity is what prompted Spain’s National Police to shut it down.