What did police in the UK mistake this crypto mining operation for?

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Police in the U.K. recently thought that they had found an illegal marijuana farm in a warehouse in West Midlands. They reportedly saw lots of people visiting the warehouse at different times of the day, a typical sign of an illegal farm. There were also “lots of wiring and ventilation ducts” on the outside, also typical of such an operation. And, when they flew a drone over the warehouse, they discovered that it was generating a “considerable” amount of heat.

When they got inside, however, there wasn’t a plant to be seen. Instead, the warehouse was the site of a large cryptocurrency mining operation. There were reportedly 100 specialized machines inside, all mining bitcoin. Unlike farming cannabis, mining cryptocurrency in the U.K. is legal. However, the equipment was seized after the officers discovered that the miners had been stealing electricity from nearby buildings in order to power their operation.

According to Sandwell Police Sergeant Jennifer Griffin, this was “only the second such crypto mine” that the department had found. It sounds like this wasn’t the first time a mine has been mistaken for another kind of operation.



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