The West Midlands Police was tipped off about possible cannabis growing facility.
To confirm the tip, the police flew a drone around the said industrial unit, according to The Guardian.
The drone has detected a large amount of heat being produced inside the facility.
The presence of high temperature inside a facility is usually an indication of a cannabis farm because heaters are used to grow them.
When the police finally broke inside the facility, they were surprised by what they saw.
Instead of a cannabis farm, what they discovered was a hidden bitcoin mining facility.
Bitcoin mining has grown in popularity in recent years because of its lucrative reward.
One bitcoin (as of this writing) is worth $36,392 (£25,732), figures from Coingecko show. The crypto reached an all-time high of $62,215 last month.
Its value has gone up and down in recent months, but whatever value it reaches, it remains attractive to everyone.
Virtual miners are rewarded with a bitcoin with every complex mathematical puzzle they solve. That is why miners need high-capacity computers to crunch these puzzles.
Crypto mining is not illegal in the UK, but what makes this particular discovery illegal is that the facility, which is packed with 100 computer units, is using stolen electricity.
“Officers forced entry to the premises in Great Bridge Industrial Estate, Sandwell, on 18 May on the back of intelligence suggesting it was being used as a cannabis farm,” CNN quoted UK authorities as saying in a statement.
The police estimated that the cost of stolen electricity used by the facility has already reached thousands of pounds, the report said.
Western Power, the area’s electricity network operator, was also informed that the facility was stealing from its main power supply.
The police seized all the 100 computer units inside the facility, but no arrests were made as no people were found inside the industrial unit.
An immediate investigation to track down the facility’s owner is underway, police said.
Image courtesy of Cointelegraph News/YouTube