Malaysian police steamroll over 1,000 Bitcoin mining ASICs seized from an illegal mining farm
We've seen quite a few mining setups ever since cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum shot up in value. Most of them used copious amounts of gaming graphics cards, with some even dunking them in oil for better performance. However, large-scale miners gravitate towards ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) as they are far more efficient. Police in the Malaysian district of Miri caught wind of one such operation and took it down it in a rather dramatic way. This time around, it was actually a cryptocurrency mining operation, quite unlike the facility unearthed in Ukraine recently, which turned out to be a FIFA Ultimate Team bot farm.
As you can see in the attached video, the police steamroller is going ham over what looks to be a bed of ASICs. Malaysian news outlet Dayakdaily (via Tom's Hardware) reports that the hardware in question was seized from a bitcoin mining farm. Although it is not illegal to mine bitcoin in Malaysia, the perpetrators reportedly stole power from the grid, causing over RM8.4 million (US$1.9 million) in losses to the city. The report also states that electricity theft has caused three house fires in the recent past but didn't clarify if it was due to the Bitcoin farm in question.
A total of 1,069 ASICs worth RM5.3 million (US$1.2 million) were destroyed in the process. Publicly destroying seized goods is quite common in South-East Asian countries such as China, the Philippines, Malaysia and India. It serves as a warning to other criminals and ensures that the goods don't inadvertently find their way back into the market. Bitcoin mining ASICs are precious in the current year, and it's a shame to see them end up like this. Unfortunately, repurposing them to do anything else is next to impossible. Hence, they'd end up as expensive paperweight that would only take up warehouse space.