Malaysia lost over $755m due to illegal Bitcoin mining since 2018: report

As a researcher with a background in energy economics, I find the impact of illicit Bitcoin mining activities on Malaysia’s electricity utility sector deeply concerning. According to reports, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) lost over $755 million due to these activities between 2018 and 2023. Akmal Nasir, the deputy minister of energy transition and water transformation, acknowledged that crypto mining activities only account for a small fraction of total energy consumption but emphasized their significant financial impact.

Malaysia’s leading electric utility company reports a loss of approximately $755 million between 2018 and present day, attributable to clandestine Bitcoin mining operations that have put a substantial strain on the nation’s energy industry.

According to the Deputy Minister of Energy Transition and Water Transformation of Malaysia, named Akmal Nasir, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the largest electricity provider in Malaysia, suffered a significant loss of approximately RM3.4 billion (equivalent to over $755 million) in West Malaysia between 2018 and 2023 due to clandestine Bitcoin mining operations.

Although Nasir acknowledged that crypto mining uses only a modest amount of energy compared to other sectors, its financial influence on the nation and energy industry is substantial.

The expenses incurred exclusively from Bitcoin mining operations, instead of boosting our income, have soared into the billions.

Akmal Nasir

Nasir pointed out that illicit electricity connections have led to yearly losses amounting to between 22 and 44 million dollars.

Regarding the financial consequences, Nasir pointed out that citizens might bear the brunt as they could be subjected to tariff modifications or similar actions. According to the report, approximately half a million dollars’ worth of electrical goods were previously confiscated, comprising 349 Bitcoin mining rigs and 1,219 unlabeled appliances.

Concurrently, Malaysian officials are intensifying efforts against tax fraud involving digital currencies. In mid-June, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), the police, and CyberSecurity Malaysia launched a large-scale operation in Klang Valley to tackle this issue. Through this joint effort, authorities obtained data on crypto transactions from mobile devices and computers for investigation. The scale of tax evasion related to digital assets remains uncertain at present.

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2024-07-10 13:18