Paraguay seizes 1,000 new Bitcoin mining equipment

In a recent operation, Paraguay’s National Electricity Administration (ANDE) seized more than 1,000 ASIC equipment for bitcoin mining and two high-voltage transformers that powered a farm that allegedly operated without legal records. used to have.

The digital mining equipment was installed in a warehouse located in the city of Quindi, 100 kilometers from Asuncion. and were powered by 3,150 KVA power transformersAccording to ANDE President Félix Sosa.

In statement Sosa indicated to the press after the raid on the mining farm that more than 800 machines were operating at the facility. And others are still packed. They believe the owner of the warehouse, who was not identified, was planning to expand his operations.

According to Sosa, as soon as it was operating, the farm produced electricity in order to consume 800 million guaranteed monthly. This is equivalent to US$100,000. Furthermore, he did not enter ANDE every month, which is considered theft.

The official did not determine how long the farm had been operating and limited himself to pointing out that the intervention resulted from a complaint by a resident of the town of Quindi, who had reported on several occasions about power outages in his town. But had complained.

Sosa also reported that he confirmed the high electricity consumption in that city through the ANDE operations and monitoring center, where equipment and technology are located that allow that organization to detect abnormal consumption. He assured that 90% of the interventions were done this year itself. Traced through the operations centre.

In the opinion of Felix Sosa, clandestine mining and resulting electricity theft “It is a danger” to Paraguayan society. And for ANDE’s finances.

The warehouse was raided by Paraguayan authorities this week. Source: ANDE.

Nearly 4,200 miners have been seized since January

In his statements, Sosa revealed that he has cut off 33 megawatts of electricity consumed by clandestine Bitcoin mining farms from January 2024. “More than the consumption of Pilar city, whose demand is 27 MW,” he stressed.

In his words, this is “very significant” energy theft, which threatens the Paraguayan electricity system.

However, he did not disclose how many Bitcoin miners have been seized by his office. But CriptoNoticias was able to account At least 4,194 ASIC devices to mine Bitcoin Which were confiscated since the beginning of the current year.

In various press releases published by ANDE, there is evidence of at least 13 interventions carried out on clandestine mining farms. 12 January 2024.

Seizures from miners have generally been in large quantities, From 360 to 1,000 devices, However smaller seizures of between 13 and 48 ASICs were also made.

Seizure of Bitcoin miners by ANDE carried out almost continuously In the first three months of the current year. And operations will continue as planned, with monitoring and supervision teams planned to expand.

Something that is related to the inter-institutional cooperation between ANDE, the Public Ministry and the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay, state agencies that decided to “harass and punish” clandestine Bitcoin miners, as reported by CriptoNoticias. Is.

ANDE has seized more than 4,000 Bitcoin miners since January. Source: ANDE.

What’s happening with Bitcoin mining in Paraguay?

The recent ANDE intervention, along with 12 other interventions planned throughout this year and 40 from 2023 onwards, have been questioned by members of the Paraguayan Bitcoin community.

Joaquin Morinigo, expert on the matter, he suggested He ANDE officials are in collusion with illegal miners. “You saw the connections, the teams. This is not the work of novices, this is the work of those who are in ANDE and allow their spread. “It’s a structural problem.”

“It seems very strong to me that ANDE uses Bitcoin mining as a scapegoat to justify power cuts. The same problem remains in ANDE, which is that they don’t really invest,” he said in an interview with local media on March 21.

Morínigo recalled the 50 contracts that ANDE had signed with Bitcoin mining companies, which allowed that organization to receive several million dollars monthly. Due to a guaranteed payment of US$65,000 for each MWh consumed. By the miners.

The expert questioned, “ANDE is making a lot of money with contracts (…) What is ANDE doing with the money it is making from legal miners?” And he insisted that “there are some people from ANDE who are working illegally and taking bribes to build these establishments.”

“And I have no doubt that they are involved and own some of these farms,” Morínigo highlighted.

Félix Sosa himself recognized the existence of 50 contracts with Bitcoin mining companies that operate under the control of that organization and which are obliged to pay fees in dollars. Which is 40% more than what normal customers pay,

“Taking into account that they consume a large proportion and do not produce labor, that was the rate that ANDE defined,” Sosa said.

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