Libyan Authorities Bust Crypto Mining Operation, Detain 50 Chinese Nationals Exploiting Minors for Virtual Currencies

…By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media. Libyan authorities have taken down a cryptocurrency mining operation in the western part of the country, as announced by the prosecution in Tripoli on June 22nd, 2023.

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The authorities disclosed that they detained 50 Chinese nationals during a search conducted by the interior ministry agents at a farm located in Zliten, approximately 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of the capital.

Prosecutors stated that minors were found exploiting significant resources to generate virtual currencies, with the assistance of the detained Chinese nationals.

Uncovering Illegal Crypto Mining Farm and Chinese Involvement

In a video posted on the Tripoli prosecutor’s office Facebook page, structures lacking windows but equipped with numerous industrial fans, computers, and hardware were visible.

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This footage was captured at the crypto mining farm discovered in the port city of Misrata, which the authorities had dismantled earlier.

The farm was reported to have been operated by 10 Chinese nationals.

These illicit mining sites, known for operating continuously, require robust servers, reliable internet connections, and costly equipment.

Challenges Faced by Crypto Mining in War-Torn Libya

Libya, a country devastated by ongoing conflicts, frequently experiences power outages and unreliable internet speeds.

According to tech watchdog Digiconomist, mining Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, consumes approximately 1,150 kWh of electricity.

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Many countries, including former crypto mining leader China, have already prohibited such activities.

In June 2021, China ceased its manufacturing and mining of virtual currencies.

Moreover, Libya’s central bank banned all cryptocurrency transactions in 2018, pending the enactment of legislation to regulate its use within the country.

These measures are implemented in a nation that remains divided between two rival administrations.

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