Xu Xinghua, Chinese national from the province of Shanxi, China, has admitted to committing a clever electricity heist. Xu was found guilty of stealing $15,000 worth of electricity from a train station power grid to power his bitcoin mining rigs.
During the height of the cryptocurrency market in a period between November and December 2017, the electrical thief was reported to own about fifty mining rigs fully running at capacity. In order to cool the rigs, Xu setup three high power electric fans working non-stop.
Pre-dating the Chinese crackdown on the cryptocurrency ecosystem, due to their undermining of national interest, the country touted the largest number of miners. The miners were operating with one of the lowest electrical cost worldwide.
There has been public support for Xu, as the Chinese government anti-crypto policies is rather unpopular, and many are proud that Xu had fleeced the government of the electricity. Unfortunately for Xu, the public support did not help his hearing, leaving him with a three and a half years sentence, and a harsh fine of 100,000 Yuan ($14,500) along with the payment of $15,000 for the electricity stolen from the train station.
As with any endeavor involving money, no amount of government intervention can completely ban an industry. Currently, there are many miners operating with the Chinese national borders. As with any law, they only apply to the law-abiding.