Hundreds of banned crypto miners were stealing electricity from China's state-owned firms.

Hundreds of miners were discovered using electricity at public institutions as part of China's fight against cryptocurrencies, a development that comes as the country grapples with a power shortage.

Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces recently began pursuing miners who were utilising the resources of state-owned firms, government agencies, universities and research institutes, a.ccording to a government announcement and media reports that did not name the entities

Nearly one-fifth of the 4,500  internet protocol addresses associated with unlawful mining operations belonged to public entities in Jiangsu, according to the media outlet The Paper, which quoted provincial communications officials. A total of 260,000 kilowatt hours of electricity were consumed per day, according to the publication.

To validate transactions on blockchains, cryptominers generally connect their equipment to cloud services called mining pools, allowing their physical locations to be tracked. Investigators would be led to accounts with electric companies as a result of this.    

The Zhejiang government issued a statement on an official social media account that featured photographs of equipment confiscated during raids, as well as a list of 184 IP addresses suspected of being involved in unlawful mining that exploited public resources.

"The rapid upgrading of mining technology and severe competition in computing power have resulted in enormous energy consumption, which is in direct conflict with the province's carbon peak and carbon neutralisation targets as a significant energy importer," according to the statement.

The Cyberspace Administration of Zhejiang and the Jiangsu Communications Administration did not respond to calls.

Since last month, significant areas of China have been impacted by an electrical crisis caused by a coal constraint, putting a damper on growth expectations in the world's second-largest economy. While miners utilise a lot of electricity, according to 2020 data, the amount consumed by miners in Jiangsu was only 0.01 percent of the state's total electricity demand. China's two eastern provinces account for more than 16 percent of the country's overall gross domestic product.

Beijing has been attempting to reassure the public that it is doing everything possible to secure electricity supply so that businesses can continue to operate and families can stay warm when the weather cools. Premier Li Keqiang said his government was working to meet power demand while visiting a facility owned by appliance maker Midea Group Co. on Thursday.

Last month, Chinese officials announced that all crypto transactions will be prohibited in the country, and that mining of digital assets would be prohibited. To expedite the termination of mining activities, the top economic planner urged local officials to investigate irregular power usage, call in loans, and eliminate preferential tax treatment as part of the crackdown.

Miners are being forced to shut down or relocate to more friendly regions such as Europe and North America as a result of China's anti-crypto currency campaign.

The United States has become the world's epicentre for Bitcoin mining, accounting for 35.4 percent of the worldwide hash rate at the end of August, according to a Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance research published Wednesday. The rate, which is a measure of the amount of computing power utilised to extract the digital money, was more than double what it was in April.

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