Malaysia Cracks Down on Illegal Crypto Mining: $723M in Electricity Theft


Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister for Energy Transition and Water Transformation, revealed that between 2018 and 2023 unlawful crypto mining activities in the nation had pilfered $723 million worth of electricity. The comment was made during an occasion whereby authorities disposed of 2,252 seized objects valued about $467,000, including electrical equipment and Bitcoin mining machinery.

Illicit Crypto Mining Operations

Deputy Minister Nasir underlined the negative effects these illicit activities have on Tenaga Nasional Berhad, the state-owned electricity operator for Malaysia, as well as the nearby populations.

Usually avoiding registering with the relevant authorities, electricity thieves use several strategies to bypass power meters or direct power straight from the lines, therefore causing significant financial losses and possible hazards to the impacted communities.

“The theft of electricity by those who mine cryptocurrencies occurs because they believe this activity cannot be detected due of absence of meters on their premises,” Nasir said. He did, however, reassure me that energy supply firms use advanced techniques to spot anomalous energy use patterns, which have been absolutely vital in locating and closing these illegal enterprises.

Recent Legal Actions

Over 2,000 items connected to illicit crypyo mining operations were taken by Malaysian officials during an October 2022 raid. While mining cryptocurrencies is not prohibited in Malaysia, theft of electricity used for such activities is a crime. Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia stressed in December 2022 this difference.

Under its criminal procedural regulations, Malaysian officials have been aggressively seizing bitcoin mining equipment as at least August 2019. Sometimes the seized machinery were crushed with a steamroller to guarantee they could never be used again.

More general control of cryptocurrencies

According to Nasir, his ministry’s first concern has been stopping illicit bitcoin mining. These initiatives fit within a larger plan of growing Malaysia’s renewable energy sources. The aim is to protect the nation’s energy resources while establishing a legal and sustainable surroundings for bitcoin operations.

Apart from combating illicit mining, Malaysia is strict about controlling bitcoin exchanges as well. Huobi Global was directed by the Securities Commission Malaysia to stop operating in the nation in May of last year for failing to register its trading activities. This action emphasizes the government’s dedication to closely control the domain of digital assets.

Only a small number of bitcoin trading platforms are registered and licenced to run in Malaysia right now. These call for HATA Digital, Luno, SINEGY, MX Global, Tokenize Technology, and Torum International. The registration guarantees that these markets follow national financial policies, therefore offering a safer trading environment for Malaysian investors.

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