In a landmark case, two individuals have been arrested and sentenced for stealing electricity to power their Bitcoin mining operation in Paraguay.
Edgar Saavedra and Rodrigo Suares have become the first people in the country to face convictions for electricity theft for cryptocurrency mining purposes.
The accused have been handed a two-year prison sentence which has been suspended upon agreeing to pay approximately $9,500 as compensation to the country’s electric company.
The authorities have claimed that the accused stole over 4,000 kilowatts of electricity resulting in an unpaid electricity bill of around $3,500.
Following a tip-off from the local electricity provider, authorities have launched an investigation into abnormal electricity consumption in the region.
During their investigation, they stumbled upon a group of individuals running a cryptocurrency mining operation using multiple pieces of equipment.
Surge in Energy Costs Makes Crypto Mining Less Profitable
As the demand for cryptocurrencies continues to rise, so does the demand for energy to power their mining.
Much like the U.S. — energy costs also went up in South America. this has put a significant barrier for small-scale miners, causing many of them to shut down their operations.
As mining becomes less profitable, one collateral is that the prices of graphics cards are going down.
Furthermore, as governments and regulators worldwide continue to scrutinize the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, more stringent regulations are being imposed. Just last year, the New york governor signed America’s first crypto mining ban.
Looking for less energy spending, many cryptocurrencies are turning into staking consensus mechanisms as a way of substituting mining as a whole.