Dutch Brothers Caught Bitcoin Mining With Stolen Power

A trial is underway in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, involving a pair of brothers who were stealing electricity from a local power provider in order to run a Bitcoin mining operation.

The as yet unnamed pair had managed to mine more than $220,000 worth of the digital currency before they were caught, and the whole thing was done with free electricity. One of the man drawbacks of Bitcoin mining is the massive amounts of power that is consumed, the cost of which puts the activity out of the reach of most individuals. Outside of the theft of the power for Bitcoin mining, the brothers are also accused of stealing power for a marijuana-growing operation and have also been charged with money laundering offences.

The brothers are aged 39 and 42 years, and local Dutch press are speculating that the younger brother is facing 15 months in prison while the older one could be looking at a lesser sentence of five months. This could possibly mean that the younger brother is the brains behind the operation or that he simply has more changes stacked up against him. Both brothers could also be subject to a heavy fine of up to a quarter of a million euros ($279,000) if convicted.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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