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

Malaysia’s largest electricity utility says it lost over $755 million due to illicit Bitcoin mining activities starting from 2018, significantly impacting the country’s energy sector.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the largest electricity utility company in Malaysia, lost RM3.4 billion (over $755 million) in West Malaysia due to illicit Bitcoin mining activities from 2018 to 2023, The New Straits Times reports, citing Akmal Nasir, deputy minister of energy transition and water transformation of Malaysia.

While Nasir admitted that crypto mining activities constitute a small fraction of total energy consumption, they had a significant financial impact on the country and the energy sector.

“These losses, stemming solely from Bitcoin mining which should have contributed to revenue, have escalated into billions.”

Akmal Nasir

Nasir further noted that additional losses from illegal electricity connections have resulted in annual losses ranging from $22 million to $44 million.

Addressing the financial repercussions, Nasir indicated that citizens were also on the losing end as they could face tariff adjustments or related measures. The report notes that earlier, nearly $500,000 worth of electrical items were seized, including 349 Bitcoin mining rigs and 1,219 appliances without safety labels.

Meanwhile, Malaysian authorities are also cracking down on tax evasion involving digital assets. In mid-June, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) of Malaysia teamed up with the police and CyberSecurity Malaysia for a major operation in the Klang Valley. During the operation, the law enforcement agency accessed crypto trading data from mobile devices and computers to trace digital assets and assess profits, though the extent of tax evasion is still unknown.

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