A household in southern China has been caught stealing electricity to power a bitcoin ‘mining’ operation, in the latest example of the country’s appetite for cryptocurrency. China Southern Power Grid Company said on Wednesday it had uncovered electricity theft at a home in the province of Guangdong that was running power-intensive mining equipment. It was discovered when local grid workers from the company’s Meizhou municipal branch conducted routine inspections of power cables and found some that were connected illegally, the company said in a post on Weibo, China’s Twitter. Tianjin police seize 600 bitcoin mining computers after local grid reported abnormal power usage The cables, hidden in an alley in the county of Fengshun, linked to a household on an upstairs floor. Mining of bitcoin, the world’s best-known cryptocurrency, is a means by which anyone with suitable hardware and internet access can earn bitcoin by being the first to solve a puzzle and place the next block in the chain – the process by which transactions are verified. ‘Serious money is entering the bitcoin market for the first time’: Crypto enjoys massive surge, breaking through US$7,000 and US$8,000 levels in just an hour Mining a single bitcoin consumes an average of 18,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). The household’s workshop was relatively small, with 32,940 kWh being confirmed as stolen. According to photographs posted online, 15 mining machines and 56 mobile phones were discovered. The grid company did not name the people involved, and police are investigating, local newspaper Yangcheng Evening News reported on Friday. Bitcoin mining is not banned in China, despite the country’s crackdown on initial coin offerings and trading platforms. China to stamp out cryptocurrency trading completely with ban on foreign platforms It is concentrated mainly in power-rich regions such as Sichuan province at the upper stream of Yangtze River, northwestern provinces that are rich in wind power, and Inner Mongolia, where coal is abundant.