The bill would also allow law enforcement to confiscate and sell off equipment from illegal farms

Paraguay’s Congress will consider introducing prison sentences of up to 10 years for illegal mining

20.05.2024 - 13:05

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2 min

What’s new? A bill aimed at combating illegal cryptocurrency mining has been introduced in the Paraguayan Congress. It provides for up to 10 years in prison for stealing electricity from ANDE, the Operator of Paraguay’s national electricity grid.

Material by Bitcoin.com

What else is known? If passed, the bill will also expand the powers of the police and prosecutors. Thus, law enforcers will be able to seize and sell mining equipment involved in illegal activities. The sale of rigs will allow compensation for financial losses ANDE as a result of the theft of energy resources.

In early April, it was reported that progress on a bill to impose a moratorium on mining had been put on hold to consider alternative approaches to regulating the industry. Paraguayan senators were considering an option in which excess electricity would be sold to locally licensed industry participants instead of exporting it to Brazil and Argentina.

Congressional opponents of mining argue that illegal data centers are disrupting the power supply system, with 50 outages reported in February and March alone, caused by illegal miner connections.

This year, law enforcers have already confiscated over 5000 ASIC miners from illegal industry participants. Seventeen raids have been conducted, resulting in the shutdown of data centers with a total capacity of over 50 MW.

Earlier this year, Bitfarms, one of the largest mining companies, bought a site in Paraguay to build a 100 MW farm.

In March, Bloomberg reported that miners from Paraguay and other regions with low electricity costs were actively buying used equipment in the United States in anticipation of the halving. The halving took place on April 20 and halved the reward for mining blocks, but in regions with cheap energy, older rigs can still be profitable.

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