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Author Topic: Are criminals stealing electricity to mine bitcoins yet?  (Read 3546 times)
bitcola
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October 01, 2011, 09:16:05 PM
 #1

Serious cannabis growers will steal electricity rather than pay for it.

So I'm wondering if criminal gangs have started to do this and mine bitcoins yet? I imagine that bitcoins require a larger initial capital outlay but what about the yield per square foot as it seems that apart from this capital outlay the only other limiting factor is space or maybe heat or noise.

I'm just curious as to why we haven't heard of criminal gangs moving in yet. I guess they don't need to be close to market so maybe they are already operating but in developing countries?
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johnj
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October 01, 2011, 09:23:00 PM
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I would imagine the maintainence required for a mining farm is far more than for a cannibis farm.  Sure, growing eats up power with lamps, but its on/off (usually on an auto timer), with replacing a bulb here and there - hardly any 'intensive' upkeep. Plus most of your investments can't 'break' (soil, pots, seeds). In addition, growers don't need to worry as much about ventilation, especially in regards to cooling. Plus the yield of space/energy in growing is much more lucrative than mining.

I'd imagine if you have access to the funding, space, ventilation, and energy to do something illegal, I don't think 'mining bitcoins' is very high on the list.

edit: less->more

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bitcola
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October 01, 2011, 09:55:54 PM
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I dunno. I've never had a grow room but I've read a lot about it. You do have to monitor a lot of things and ventilation you got to take care of, primarily because otherwise the stink will be detected.

With mining rigs, the advantage is that you don't have to return to tend to it or "harvest", you can manage it all remotely. Build in some redundancy and you hardly ever have to return to swap anything out.

A well tended grow needs people coming back to change various things, otherwise the crop would taste nasty, nutrients etc. As far as I know nobody has automated this process yet.
Swishercutter
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October 01, 2011, 10:07:38 PM
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I would imagine the maintainence required for a mining farm is far more than for a cannibis farm.  Sure, growing eats up power with lamps, but its on/off (usually on an auto timer), with replacing a bulb here and there - hardly any 'intensive' upkeep. Plus most of your investments can't 'break' (soil, pots, seeds). In addition, growers don't need to worry as much about ventilation, especially in regards to cooling. Plus the yield of space/energy in growing is much more lucrative than mining.

I'd imagine if you have access to the funding, space, ventilation, and energy to do something illegal, I don't think 'mining bitcoins' is very high on the list.

edit: less->more

Wrong...I have known people who run grows...if you are not there doing work every day things come out like crap.  I have not had to even look at my mining rigs in weeks...I know they are working by the heat.

There is massive intensive upkeep in grows...like pruning, insects, mold, fertilizer levels, not to mention pumps, bulbs, fans, charcoal filters, etc.

I would not get into either one expecting no work.

elggawf
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October 01, 2011, 10:14:43 PM
 #5

People steal electricity to grow pot? Seems to me like that's a really easy way to get caught.

^_^
Swishercutter
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October 01, 2011, 10:22:58 PM
 #6

People steal electricity to grow pot? Seems to me like that's a really easy way to get caught.

Those are the only ones I ever read about getting busted due to power use.  Everyone thinks you will get caught for power usage...from what I have seen the power company is more than happy to take your money as long as you are paying on time and in full.  I always read in the news about these major grows >15kw that are stealing power.  The power company knows how much gos into a neighborhood and how much is metered at the houses...if those numbers don't match up they think its a short in the line somewhere and send out a crew...they find you illegal power tap and report it to the police.

I guess it depends on where in the world you live also....some areas have specific regulations on reporting abnormal power usage to the local authorities.
elggawf
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October 01, 2011, 10:36:27 PM
 #7

Well I have heard about abnormally high power usage in a house leading to a tip off to the cops, but it just doesn't seem like stealing juice is going to help solve that.

Besides why steal power to mine bitcoins with a few really expensive graphics cards when you can just write malware and steal power + equipment for a fraction of the effort and almost none of the risk?

^_^
Swishercutter
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October 01, 2011, 10:41:14 PM
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Well I have heard about abnormally high power usage in a house leading to a tip off to the cops, but it just doesn't seem like stealing juice is going to help solve that.

Besides why steal power to mine bitcoins with a few really expensive graphics cards when you can just write malware and steal power + equipment for a fraction of the effort and almost none of the risk?

To most it's easier to steal power...the majority have no programming knowledge.
zer0
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October 01, 2011, 10:57:31 PM
 #9

People steal electricity to grow pot? Seems to me like that's a really easy way to get caught.

They hire blackmarket techs that used to work for the power company to set it up.
http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/3268.html

Because US housing is so cheap right now, there are plenty of Canadian weed growers buying up houses to convert solely into farms and it's easier to pirate electricity in states not known for growing with outdated power infrastructure. Guess you could make a mining house too but I imagine the payoff isn't near as great
worldinacoin
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October 02, 2011, 01:09:18 AM
 #10

If we are seeing such criminal activities, I think it will show that Bitcoin is starting to go widespread in the society, not a bad sign.
d.james
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October 02, 2011, 04:51:56 AM
 #11

stealing bitcoins directly is easier

You can not roll a BitCoin, but you can rollback some. Cheesy
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bitcola
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October 02, 2011, 05:58:35 AM
 #12

Very good points, especially from wisdomtool.

I think we will see it happen. Not just anyone can write and launch the code for a botnet. These things tend to be done in the developing world where they are less easily caught by Western authorities.

Your typical criminal gang in the West may not want to risk getting tracked like that. They prefer to stay further under the radar. Furthermore, they may lack the contacts if they don't have the programming expertise.

Your average Joe has no idea how to set up a mining rig but it's a damn site easier learning curve to do it than to program a botnet.

And given the potential profits from it, perhaps it won't be long before we see it happen.


Can any growers give an idea of the yield from a grow on a space basis? Doesn't each plant give a few ounces or something? And how much could that be sold for if you wanted to get rid of your crop quickly and not sell it in small amounts?
Manko
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October 02, 2011, 06:05:35 AM
 #13

If we are seeing such criminal activities, I think it will show that Bitcoin is starting to go widespread in the society, not a bad sign.

Yep, at least someone is using them Smiley

I wonder what the tax people's stance is on cryptocurrency ? Keeping your money in BTC and on exchanges, could be a good way to avoid taxes.
bitcola
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October 02, 2011, 08:28:36 AM
 #14

If we are seeing such criminal activities, I think it will show that Bitcoin is starting to go widespread in the society, not a bad sign.

Yep, at least someone is using them Smiley

I wonder what the tax people's stance is on cryptocurrency ? Keeping your money in BTC and on exchanges, could be a good way to avoid taxes.

Absolutely, it seems it has the same tax "advantages" of cash.
Swishercutter
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October 02, 2011, 11:04:08 AM
 #15

Very good points, especially from wisdomtool.

I think we will see it happen. Not just anyone can write and launch the code for a botnet. These things tend to be done in the developing world where they are less easily caught by Western authorities.

Your typical criminal gang in the West may not want to risk getting tracked like that. They prefer to stay further under the radar. Furthermore, they may lack the contacts if they don't have the programming expertise.

Your average Joe has no idea how to set up a mining rig but it's a damn site easier learning curve to do it than to program a botnet.

And given the potential profits from it, perhaps it won't be long before we see it happen.


Can any growers give an idea of the yield from a grow on a space basis? Doesn't each plant give a few ounces or something? And how much could that be sold for if you wanted to get rid of your crop quickly and not sell it in small amounts?

Has to do with a lot of things...plant number, who is growing it...but I have heard it's mostly dependent on number of lights.  Most indoor people I have heard say 1lb/1000w light is doing good.  There are so many variables though...type of setup, care, fertilizer...the list continues.  One power outage at the right time throws off your light cycle and can ruin a whole crop.  Insect control is a major issue also.  Smell, humidity, heat...sounds like a total nightmare to me.

Then you have to sell it too...not worth my time.  I know many people who have tried for years and nobody is rich (or even well off) yet.
bitcola
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October 02, 2011, 11:54:38 AM
 #16

And the other thing I forgot about, of course you may be stealing electricity but otherwise you are not doing anything illegal. No threat of multi-year jail sentences for growing drugs to supply others.

I am really quite shocked to not hear of any criminals doing this.
payb.tc
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October 02, 2011, 12:45:49 PM
 #17

I am really quite shocked to not hear of any criminals doing this.

why would they advertise?
dancupid
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October 02, 2011, 01:48:57 PM
 #18

It's easy to do this in China - my wife found a guy in Shanghai who she payed the equivalent of $50 to modify the electricity meter and halved our electricity bills (personally I thought it wasn't worth the risk, but everyone seems to do it). There was recently a crackdown on this, so she called the electricity company to say there was a problem with the meter, 2 'repair men' turned up in BMWs to repair it - we took them out for a nice meal and nothing more was said of the matter.
bitcola
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October 02, 2011, 03:32:14 PM
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I am really quite shocked to not hear of any criminals doing this.

why would they advertise?

It's not about advertising, it's about what filters through to local and eventually national news.
hashman
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October 02, 2011, 05:30:32 PM
 #20

Very good points, especially from wisdomtool.

I think we will see it happen. Not just anyone can write and launch the code for a botnet. These things tend to be done in the developing world where they are less easily caught by Western authorities.

Your typical criminal gang in the West may not want to risk getting tracked like that. They prefer to stay further under the radar. Furthermore, they may lack the contacts if they don't have the programming expertise.

Your average Joe has no idea how to set up a mining rig but it's a damn site easier learning curve to do it than to program a botnet.

And given the potential profits from it, perhaps it won't be long before we see it happen.


Can any growers give an idea of the yield from a grow on a space basis? Doesn't each plant give a few ounces or something? And how much could that be sold for if you wanted to get rid of your crop quickly and not sell it in small amounts?

Has to do with a lot of things...plant number, who is growing it...but I have heard it's mostly dependent on number of lights.  Most indoor people I have heard say 1lb/1000w light is doing good.  There are so many variables though...type of setup, care, fertilizer...the list continues.  One power outage at the right time throws off your light cycle and can ruin a whole crop.  Insect control is a major issue also.  Smell, humidity, heat...sounds like a total nightmare to me.

Then you have to sell it too...not worth my time.  I know many people who have tried for years and nobody is rich (or even well off) yet.

Seriously?  Then you don't know many people.  Its the #1 cash crop in all 50 states. 
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