Illegal crypto farms ate more than 185'000 pounds of electricity per month

Illegal crypto farms ate more than 185’000 pounds of electricity per month

Authorities seized 3800 Playstation consoles in a raid. Criminals had made cryptocurrencies with the game consoles. They stole the electricity for it.

The industrial hall was full of Playstation consoles, graphics cards and computers: the operators of the hall used the devices to generate cryptocurrency. The complex operation has now been discovered in the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, south of Kiev. The authorities blew the crypto farm and confiscated 3800 Playstation 4 consoles, 500 graphics cards, 50 processors, notebooks, smartphones and storage media during the raid, writes the domestic secret service, Slushba bespeky Ukrajiny, SBU, on its website.

In order to generate cryptocurrency, the machines have to solve complex arithmetic tasks. That takes time and requires large amounts of electricity – which costs a lot of money. That is why the operators of the crypto farm pinched the electricity at the energy company JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho. The SBU wrote that they tampered with the electricity meters so that the theft would not be exposed.

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Electricity cut off

The authorities estimate that the crypto facility consumed electricity worth between 5 and 7 million Ukrainian hryvnias per month. Converted, this corresponds to around 132’141 to 184’998 Pounds. The illegal activities could overload the network, which could lead to power outages, warn the authorities. Since the hall where the system was located also belongs to JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho, it is now being investigated whether the company also made a profit.

The SBU closed another mining facility in Ukraine at the beginning of July. This plant in the city of Nizhyn was also operated with stolen electricity. The operators of the crypto farm connected the system directly to a substation. According to the SBU, the local rescue services and other important facilities in the city were also supplied with energy. According to the law enforcement authorities, electricity worth the equivalent of over CHF 100,000 was consumed in two months.

Another system was already blown in June. Here the authorities confiscated 350 mining devices. The electricity was also stolen from the system in the metropolis of Dnipro. According to a report from the SBU, the damage was the equivalent of around 55’164 pounds.

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