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Saturday, 13 January 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

MPSJ shuts down bitcoin mining business in houses

SUBANG Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) has finally put an end to the bitcoin mining activity conducted illegally in two residential properties in Puchong.

The activity had been going on for several months at two separate houses along Jalan Merbok 2 in Puchong Jaya, Puchong, for months before the council acted.

To get new bitcoins, miners use special software to solve math problems. It's a process that gets more and more difficult, requiring ever more powerful computers to crunch the numbers. A lot of electricity is consumed and a lot of heat is generated, making bitcoin an increasingly "dirty" activity that contributes huge carbon foot prints.

MPSJ councillor Frankie Yap said the premises were raided by the local council last month following complaints from neighbours who were unhappy over the fact that outsiders frequently moved in and out of those premises.

He said the presence of the strangers was causing worry and unhappiness among the neighbours.

He said affected residents complained that the visitors were dropping in at irregular hours and making a lot of noise, adversely affecting the neighbourhood serenity.

He added that another grouse was about the visitors parking indiscriminately in the area and causing obstruction.

“The residents also faced frequent power disruption because the mining activity required a lot of electricity to operate the high-powered computers used to mine bitcoins,” said Yap.

He said MPSJ issued compound notice to the tenants during the raid and ordered them to cease operations.

He said the tenants violated local council regulations by turning the houses into business premises.

“Enforcement officers found numerous computers in the houses and too many partitions made from plywood.

“There were also electrical wires running all over the houses at these premises,” he said, adding that the wooden partitions posed a fire hazard.

Yap said the issue had been raised at MPSJ’s full board meeting last month.

He said recent checks made by the local council’s enforcement team confirmed that the activity had stopped.

“The premises were empty, so the council believed the operators had moved out from the residential area,” Yap added.