The detection of illicit cryptocurrency mining farms with innovative approaches for the prevention of electricity theft

Dindar B., Gül Ö.

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT, vol.33, no.8, pp.1663-1678, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0958305x211045066
  • Journal Name: ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Geobase, Greenfile, INSPEC, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1663-1678
  • Keywords: Cryptocurrency, electricity theft, energy consumption, CO2 emission, harmonics, ENERGY-CONSUMPTION, BITCOIN
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Illegal use of electricity is very common in cryptocurrency mining farms, as energy bills are the most important component of the cost of cryptocurrency production. In this case, it raises the issue of how to detect illegal cryptocurrency mining. Innovative approaches are needed to identify data centers that illegally mine cryptocurrencies. This study proposes the use of unique noise and/or harmonic features of cryptocurrency generating machines to detect illegal cryptocurrency mining farms. Within the scope of this study, the characteristic harmonics originating from the data centers were determined by performing field tests on the neutral line of the electrical grid. In this study, it has been shown that electricity distribution companies can detect illegal cryptocurrency data centers using potential illegal electricity by monitoring energy quality data. Legal permissions can be obtained easily for detailed examination and detection in cryptocurrency data centers of using illegal electricity. With the proposed innovative approach, the time taken to detect illegal cryptocurrency mining farms using illegal electricity is reduced.