First Death From Bitcoin Mining: Cryptocurrency Fighter Is Electrocuted While Trying To Boot A Faulty Computer In Thailand
- Danai Makmek, 26, died Tuesday in Thailand’s central Chonburi province
- His brother said he panicked when his computer system stopped working
- Concerned about loss of income, Danai decided to try to repair the machine himself
- The sprawling computer rig included at least 19 rigged hard drives
- It is believed to have exploded, causing Danai to be electrocuted while he was working on it
A Bitcoin miner has died in Thailand in what is believed to be the cryptocurrency’s first fatality.
Danai Makmek, 26, was electrocuted on Tuesday while trying to turn on his computer system to collect more cryptocurrency in Thailand’s central Chonburi province.
Like many cryptocurrency miners, he had rigged several hard drives to create a sprawling crypto mining machine, which he used electric fans to cool.
Danai panicked when his system went down and he couldn’t turn it back on.
He begged his brother, Apiwat Makmek, for help with the broken oil rig, fearing he would lose precious mining time.
Apiwat said he promised to take Danai to a technician the next day to fix the system, which was capable of making thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin every week.
Concerned about the loss of income, Danai took matters into his own hands and decided to repair the machine himself, his brother said.
“I warned him, but he couldn’t wait. I think he panicked and stayed up all night trying to fix it,” Apiwat told reporters on Wednesday.
Danai is believed to have been killed after the Bitcoin mining computer exploded and electrocuted him.
Danai Makmek, a 26-year-old Bitcoin miner, has died in Thailand in what is believed to be the cryptocurrency’s first fatality after being electrocuted while trying to repair his computer system
Like many cryptocurrency miners, Danai had rigged several hard drives to create a sprawling crypto mining machine and cool it with electric fans.
A photo shows the tangle of cables and drives that made up the installation, including at least 19 hard drives.
Apiwat said he had been concerned about the security of the computer system Danai had put together.
‘The computer has been modified to give it more power. I don’t think it was safe, but my brother had built it himself for Bitcoin mining, which he really liked.”
Apiwat said he found his brother dead on Wednesday morning after arriving with a technician to repair the computer system. Danai slumped over the Bitcoin setup, he said.
Emergency services were called and paramedics tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Danai. The police also came to the scene for an investigation.
Police Colonel Santi Shoosheud said there were no signs of forced entry into the room and Danai had no suspicious injuries, leading them to believe he had been electrocuted.
“We think he himself tried to repair the broken machine and was electrocuted.
“We are still investigating the matter, but so far no break-ins or suspicious injuries have been found.”
Pictured: Danai’s body being recovered from his home after being discovered Wednesday morning by his brother and an engineer
While Danai’s death is believed to be the first to be linked to cryptocurrencies, the large amounts of electricity required to mine have led to accidents in the past.
In February 2018, a fire destroyed an apartment building near the city of Vladivostok in Russia after a resident plugged his computers into the building’s main power supply to mine Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that was invented in 2009 and gained huge popularity in 2017. Miners earn coins by verifying digital transactions to make sure they are legal.
The unregulated process is voluntary and carried out by hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency miners around the world, the majority of whom are located in Asia.
For some, like Danai, Bitcoin mining is a serious source of income, but a number of countries are starting to investigate the process over concerns that the amount of power used to mine Bitcoins can be harmful to the environment.
A study from the University of Cambridge found that Bitcoin consumes more electricity annually than all of Argentina.
China is set to regulate the industry, a decision that has severely impacted the value of Bitcoin, which has fallen by half since its peak earlier this year.
The European Union is also taking steps towards regulation, announcing proposals on Tuesday that target cryptocurrency money laundering.