A Chinese man has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined RMB 100,000 (around $14,500) after pleading guilty to stealing electricity from the country’s train network to power his bitcoin mining activities, according to a report by local media.

From November to December last year, Xu Xinghu, from Datong, a city in northwestern China’s Shanxi province, stole RMB 104,000 worth of electricity from train network power lines, using it to run 50 bitcoin miners and three cooling fans he operated in a rented house nearby.

By April of this year, Xu had mined 3.2 bitcoins, worth around RMB 120,000. His mining equipment was confiscated following his sentencing, which took place in September but was reported on October 8.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.