Hydro-Québec shuts down operation stealing electricity to mine cryptocurrency

The illegal operation is estimated to have cost Hydro-Québec about $2 million.

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Hydro-Québec says it has put an end to electricity theft and fraud related to cryptocurrency mining, which it believes cost the organization about $2 million.

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An investigation allowed the company to determine that the virtual mining had been conducted since the spring at three locations in the Beauport area of Quebec City and St-Damien-de-Buckland in Chaudière-Appalaches. Hydro-Québec said it worked with the Sûreté du Québec, which conducted searches at two addresses last Friday.

The case file will be submitted to the province’s director of prosecutions, who will decide on any possible criminal charges.

Hydro-Québec said it handles almost 400 cases of stolen electricity each year.

Cryptocurrency mining is a way of acquiring currencies like Bitcoin through complex calculations requiring large farms of computers that use a lot of electricity and generate a lot of heat.

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