Chinese police have reportedly confiscated 600 bitcoin mining machines following reports of irregular electricity usage.

In the China city of Tianjin officials are continuing their crackdown on the cryptocurrency market in a country that was once the location for a large number of bitcoin mining operations. According to a report from the Xinhua News Agency:

“Eight high-power fans were also seized”, adding that it was the “largest power theft case in recent years,” reports CNBC.

Last September, Chinese authorities took decisive steps to stamp out the cryptocurrency market in the country. As a result, it banned trading and mining activities, which saw many moving offshore or shutting down.

In the Tianjin case, five people are under investigation while another has been detained.

The use of bitcoin mining equipment has generated much interest in the last few years. This is due to the fact that it uses an intensive amount of electricity to mine for the coins. Consequently, many miners are keen to source out cheap electricity locations. However, by doing so, they put pressure on the supply reserves held for citizens in these places.

A study in March found that the most expensive country for bitcoin mining operations is South Korea.

According to data compiled, it costs $26,170 for one coin in the country. This was followed by Niue, a small island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, at $17,566; Bahrain, which costs $16,773; and the Cook Islands at $15,861, showcasing the top five locations.

The least expensive countries are Venezuela which cost a mere $531 to mine for one bitcoin; Trinidad and Tobago at $1,190; Uzbekistan, costing $1,788; the Ukraine at $1,852; and Myanmar, which cost $1,983 to mine one bitcoin.

Notably, with Chinese police confiscating 600 bitcoin mining machines it highlights the country’s continued intention to remove the market from its shores. According to a report from Reuters in January, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), is reported to have told a government internet finance group that the monetary authority can tell local governments to regulate the electricity consumption of bitcoin miners to limit their production.

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