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Malaysian police steamroll $1.25 million worth of bitcoin mining rigs

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Call it a crypto crackdown — literally.

Malaysian authorities seized 1,069 bitcoin mining rigs, laid them out in a parking lot at police headquarters, and used a steamroller to crush them, as part of a joint operation between law enforcement in the city of Miri and electric utility Sarawak Energy.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Hakemal Hawari told CNBC the crackdown came after miners allegedly stole $2 million worth of electricity siphoned from Sarawak Energy power lines. 

A video of the event posted last week by local Sarawak news outlet Dayak Daily has since gone viral on social media.  

Acting on a tip, authorities on the island of Borneo confiscated the rigs in six separate raids between February and April. In total, police destroyed about $1.26 million of mining equipment

Police opted to crush the mining gear rather than sell it, in accordance with a court order. Other countries, like China, have taken a different route, reportedly auctioning off seized rigs.

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Hawari said that electricity theft by bitcoin miners led to three houses burning down in the city. The Miri police chief told CNBC that there are no other active mining operations underway currently.

Crypto mining is the energy-intensive process which creates new bitcoin. When people are “mining,” that actually means they’re trying to solve a complex math problem using a highly specialized computer. Solving that problem is both what unlocks new tokens and verifies new transactions. However, running those machines at full capacity draws a great deal of power, which can jeopardize local power grids. 

While mining for cryptocurrencies is not illegal in Malaysia, there are stringent laws around power use. Section 37 of Malaysia’s Electricity Supply Act threatens those who tamper with power lines with fines of up to 100,000 Malaysian ringgit ($23,700) and five years in prison. 

The Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance estimates that Malaysia accounts for 3.44% of all the world’s bitcoin miners, placing it in the top ten mining destinations on the planet. 

Eight have been arrested in connection with the mining operation in Miri, and six people have been charged under Section 379 in the Penal Code for stealing energy supplies, according to Hawari. Those charged will be jailed for eight months and face a fine of up to $1,900 per person. 

This is just the latest example of Malaysia’s struggle to track down crypto mining criminals.

In March, a bitcoin miner in the city of Melaka on Peninsular Malaysia stole $2.2 million worth of electricity from energy company Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

Malaysian Borneo is much less densel populated than Peninsular Malaysia.

— CNBC’s Nessa Anwar contributed to this report.



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The 10 fastest-growing jobs of the next decade—and how much they pay

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The Covid-19 pandemic has radically shifted the work landscape, as millions of Americans switched career paths or said goodbye to the office forever. While U.S. employment will experience stunted growth over the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, certain jobs will be soaring in demand. 

According to a new analysis from the BLS, the U.S. will add 11.9 million jobs through 2030, many in industries that were hit hardest by the pandemic. Food preparation and service-related jobs including servers, cooks and fast food employees are projected to add about 1.5 million jobs by 2030. 

Wind turbine service technicians topped the list for the most in-demand jobs of the next decade, with that group of workers expected to jump by 68.2%. Other jobs in the ranking fall into three categories: renewable energy, data and health care. Interest in wind and solar energy has skyrocketed as installation costs drop and more countries prioritize reducing their carbon emissions, Bureau of Labor Statistics Division Chief Michael Wolf tells CNBC Make It. 

Other occupations, such as information security analysts and data scientists, will become more popular as people continue to work from home and online. “As companies have more of their employees working remotely, they’re going to invest more in software and systems that enable them to be productive in that environment,” Wolf says. “There’s also an increased emphasis on protecting their data and information online.” 

While the pandemic has created an unprecedented need for health care, continued demand for jobs in this sector is actually driven by an aging population, Wolf explains. “The baby boomer generation is much larger than previous generations, and they’re starting to enter their 60s and 70s, when people depend on more health care services,” he says. “We’re going to see a huge increase in the number of people consuming those services.”

Wolf also predicts that the country’s labor participation rate will decline as workers age and fewer young people (those between the ages of 16 and 24) pick up jobs. “We’re seeing a higher number of people decide to pursue post-high school or post-secondary education, so people are not entering the labor force as early as they were before,” Wolf notes. “It also used to be a lot more common for people to have a part-time job while attending high school or college, but now, a lot more people are deciding to be full-time students and not work in the labor force at the same time.”

Though the long-term projections are promising, the U.S. job market is facing more immediate challenges as a surge in Covid-19 cases disrupts economic recovery. After solid job growth in July, the economy has slowed, adding just 235,000 positions in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number is a lot less than the 720,000 new hires economists had predicted. 

 Check out:

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Elon Musk pledges $50 million to Inspiration4 fundraiser for St. Jude

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk poses with the crew before launch on September 15, 2021.

John Kraus / Inspiration4

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk helped achieve the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital fundraising goal of the Inspiration4 spaceflight, just hours after his company returned the crew from orbit.

The main goal of the Inspiration4 mission, which launched on Wednesday and splashed down on Saturday, was to raise $200 million for St. Jude.

Inspiration4 commander Jared Isaacman, a billionaire entrepreneur who purchased the flight from SpaceX, donated $100 million personally to St. Jude. The Inspiration4 mission had raised another $60.2 million in donations, before Musk pledged to contribute $50 million himself – pushing the campaign’s total raised to more than $210 million.

“Count me in for $50M,” Musk said in a tweet on Saturday.

The historic Inspiration4 mission with a private crew spent three days in space, carrying Isaacman, pilot Sian Proctor, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux and mission specialist Chris Sembroski. The crew orbited the Earth at an altitude as high as 590 kilometers, which is above the International Space Station and the furthest humans have traveled above the surface in years.

The spaceflight achieved multiple milestones, including: The first private SpaceX spaceflight, the first entirely nonprofessional crew to become astronauts, the first Black female spacecraft pilot, the youngest American astronaut to date, and the first person to fly in space with a prosthesis.

The Inspiration4 passengers pose in the crew access arm of Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left: Commander Jared Isaacman, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux, pilot Sian Proctor, and mission specialist Chris Sembroski.

SpaceX

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Crew cupola window view in orbit

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The first look at the crew in orbit, from left: Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor.

Inspiration4

Inspiration4, which launched with Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Wednesday evening, shared the first photos from day one in orbit and gave an up-close look at the expansive views of Earth from the spacecraft’s “cupola” window.

The crew spent its first day in orbit floating in zero gravity inside the capsule, taking photos from the Crew Dragon window and spoke to patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, answering questions from space.

The historic private mission — which includes commander Jared Isaacman, pilot Sian Proctor, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux and mission specialist Chris Sembroski — is orbiting the planet at an altitude of 585 kilometers (363.5 miles), which is above the International Space Station and the highest altitude humans have traveled in years.

Inspiration4, which is expected to return to Earth and splash down this weekend, was paid for by Isaacman for an undisclosed amount, with the main goal of the spaceflight to raise $200 million for St. Jude.

Hayley Arceneaux takes in the view of Earth from the Crew Dragon cupola window.

Inspiration4

SpaceX modified the top of Crew Dragon capsule Resilience to add a massive window for the astronauts, replacing the docking hatch that is under the spacecraft’s nose cone with the cupola.

Spacecraft commander Jared Isaacman speaks into a microphone as he peers out the cupola window.

Inspiration4

The cupola is the largest window by surface area ever put in space.

Mission specialist Chris Sembroski is seen taking a photo through the cupola, from an exterior camera on Crew Dragon.

Inspiration4

Isaacman is the third billionaire to fly to space this year, following Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos in July. But the latter two — flying with their respective companies, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin — spent only a couple of minutes each in space, as those companies’ rockets fly on what are known as suborbital trips. In contrast, Inspiration4 is an orbital mission, with the crew spending multiple days in space and going around the Earth as many as 15 times in day.

Musk, among those who saw them off before launch, tweeted that he spoke to the Inspiration4 crew Thursday and that “all is well.”

“Missions like Inspiration4 help advance spaceflight to enable ultimately anyone to go to orbit & beyond,” Musk wrote in another tweet.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk poses with the crew before launch on September 15, 2021.

John Kraus / Inspiration4

The Inspiration4 crew is making history in ways beyond becoming the first group of nonprofessional astronauts in orbit: Proctor is the first Black female to pilot a spacecraft, and Arceneaux is the youngest American and first person with a prosthesis to fly in space.

Check out more photos from launch day at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida:

Medical officer Hayley Arceneaux points to the camera as she and pilot Sian Proctor board the Tesla Model X after suiting up before the launch on September 15, 2021.

John Kraus / Inspiration4

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifts off carrying Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience on September 15, 2021.

John Kraus / Inspiration4

The view inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft about 30 seconds after liftoff as the Falcon 9 rocket accelerated away from Earth on September 15, 2021.

SpaceX

The shimmering exhaust plume of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launching into the dusk sky above Florida on September 15, 2021.

John Kraus / Inspiration4

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