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Paraguay's Major Crackdown on Illegal Bitcoin Mining Operations

Highlights:

  • Authorities in Paraguay seized 550 Bitcoin miners this week, targeting illegal mining that evades power fees.
  • Two large illegal mining operations were shut down in Paraguari and Canindeyu departments.
  • The government urges strict penalties, including jail time, to curb the theft of electrical power by illegal miners.

Paraguay authorities have recently executed significant raids against illegal bitcoin mining operations within its borders. The authorities are employing advanced artificial intelligence tools to detect and disrupt these unauthorized activities, which have been siphoning power from the national grid.

Advanced Technology Leads to Major Seizures

The National Power Administration (ANDE) has used AI and detailed distribution maps to identify covert mining operations. Just last week, officials dismantled two significant mining setups.ย 

The first raid occurred in the Paraguari department on May 19th, when officials seized 396 Bitcoin miners. A subsequent operation in the Canindeyu department on May 22nd captured an additional 176 miners and crucial power-measuring equipment designed to bypass energy metering.

These operations not only removed hundreds of Bitcoin miners from illegal use but also led to the confiscation of two large transformers, each capable of 1,000 KVA, illustrating the scale of power theft involved.

Legislative Reforms on the Horizon

The persistent issue of power theft has prompted the Paraguayan government to propose stringent legislative reforms. These would impose severe penalties for illegal mining activities, including potential imprisonment for up to ten years. This legislative push reflects a broader strategy to fortify the nation’s utilities against exploitation and misuse, ensuring that electricity distribution remains equitable and uninterrupted.

Earlier in April, the senatorial chamber at the national congress proposed a bill temporarily banning Bitcoin mining in the country.

Read More: UK Woman Sentenced For Laundering $10M in Bitcoin Tied To $5.6B Fraud

Ramifications for the National Power Grid

The effects of these illegal activities extend beyond mere financial loss. They represent a direct challenge to the integrity of Paraguay’s power grid, affecting households and businesses nationwide. ANDE is currently assessing the full extent of the damage and is set to recover lost revenues through fines and recuperated energy charges.

Paraguayan authorities’ proactive approach highlights their commitment to maintaining the stability of their power infrastructure. This recent crackdown sends a clear message to potential offenders and underscores the government’s resolve to combat energy theft and safeguard its resources.

Paraguayan authorities’ actions highlight their commitment to protecting the integrity of their power infrastructure. With ongoing legislative efforts, the country is setting a precedent for managing and regulating the burgeoning cryptocurrency mining industry.