Thursday Newsletter

Explore the latest trends, gain valuable insights, and stay informed in the dynamic cryptocurrency ecosystem.

11 July 2024

Between 2018 and 2023, illegal cryptocurrency mining operations in Malaysia stole an estimated $723 million worth of electricity, according to Malaysia’s Deputy Minister for Energy Transition and Water Transformation, Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir.

Speaking at an event where authorities disposed of 2,022 seized items, including Bitcoin mining machines and electrical equipment valued at around $467,000, Nasir highlighted the severe impact of these illegal activities on Malaysia’s state-controlled power operator, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, and local communities.

Illegal miners typically bypass proper registration with authorities and manipulate electricity meters or divert power directly from lines. Nasir noted, “The theft of electricity by those who mine cryptocurrency occurs because they believe this activity cannot be detected due to the absence of meters on their premises. However, energy supply companies have various methods to detect unusual energy consumption in an area.”

In October 2022, Malaysian officials successfully seized over 2,000 items used in illegal mining operations. While mining cryptocurrency is legal in Malaysia, stealing electricity to power these operations is not, as clarified by Malaysia’s Universiti Teknologi MARA in December 2022.

Since August 2019, Malaysian authorities have been actively seizing cryptocurrency mining equipment, adhering to the country’s criminal procedure laws. Some of the confiscated machines were destroyed using a steamroller.

Nasir emphasized that cracking down on illegal miners remains a top priority for his ministry, alongside efforts to boost Malaysia’s renewable energy sources.

In addition to targeting illegal miners, Malaysia has also been strict with unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges. In May of the previous year, the Securities Commission Malaysia ordered Huobi Global to cease operations for failing to register its trading services. Currently, only HATA Digital, Luno, SINEGY, MX Global, Tokenize Technology, and Torum International are authorized cryptocurrency trading platforms in Malaysia.