Biggest Illegal Cryptocurrency Mining Farm In Ukraine Found And Seized By Police

Ukraine’s major law enforcement has declared that the country is facing electricity theft. On investigating a massive undercover illegal cryptocurrency mining farm was discovered. The police seized all the hardware in there and continued to investigate further to search the individuals responsible for this.

Ukraine And Its Cryptocurrency Mining Farm

Crypto mine crackdown: Ukraine authorities seize 3800 PlayStation 4 | Plato  Blockchain
The crackdown of illegal cryptocurrency mining farm in Ukraine by SSU, http://Plato Blockchain

Ukraine is not a very well-developed economic country. It is an exporter of metal and agricultural products with no significant margin or investment. To grow out of this scene and become a global economic destination Ukraine sought refuge in cryptocurrency. They believe with the help of cryptocurrency Ukraine can come out of the sorrow-stricken country to a global hotbed of cutting-edge financiers. However, cryptocurrency’s volatility has an equal amount of potential risk as much as its benefits.

A plant for mining bitcoin, a process by which computing power is effectively exchanged for cryptocurrency. It will soon rise near the Zaparis gia nuclear power plant, not far from Ukraine’s border with Russia. Zapariz gia is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the energy utilized to create cryptocurrency operations signed by Ukraine’s government-owned nuclear plant operator energotom. 

Authorized bitcoin mining plants are being set up near nuclear power plants. Ukraine is building bitcoin infrastructure gradually. In a document called ‘Virtual Assets in Ukraine’, the ministry of digital transformation lists how Ukraine plans to make itself a top destination for the cryptocurrency world.

According to data from Coindesk, “Ukraine is about to pass its first crypto regulation, with the Draft Bill on Virtual Assets proceeding through parliament. The country’s central bank has been exploring the prospects of issuing a Ukrainian hryvnia-backed central bank digital currency, and earlier this month, the future CBDC was included in the national regulation for payment systems.”

Illegal Cryptocurrency Mining Farms Discovered

Ukrainian Law Enforcement Raids Illegal Mining Farm With GPUs, PlayStations  - CoinDesk
Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), Coindesk

On Thursday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) Thursday declared that there has been a massive theft of electricity and energy in the city of Vinnytsia, situated in central-west Ukraine and southwest of Kyiv. Upon investigation, a huge underground cryptocurrency mining farm was found. The unlicensed mining farm occupied a “utility room at a local electricity” powerhouse named JSC Vinnytsia Oblenergo, in the mentioned venue. The preparators illegally derived electrical energy from the grid, which was used to mine the cryptocurrency and run those power-hungry machines. This phenomenon could have resulted in power blackouts in the nearby residence due to a shortage of electrical energy.  The SSU said, “Entire blocks of Vinnytsia could have been left without power.” 

The law enforcement was able to establish the links of this under-covered illegal cryptocurrency mining farm from the “distribution company using electricity meters that did not show the true energy consumption “.

The entire warehouse was searched and the authorities found 5,000 pieces of hardware, including over 500 graphics cards and GPUs (Graphics Processing units), 50 CPUs (Central processing units), and 3,800 gaming consoles which majorly included PlayStation 4 (PS4). These were confiscated by the authorities of Ukraine. They shut down one of the biggest ‘illegal’ cryptocurrency mining farms found to date. Along with the room stacked up with computers and other major hardware. The searching team also seized “documents on electric consumption, notepads, flash drives, and phones.” as the report says.

The whole mission of searching up unauthorized cryptocurrency mining farms and raiding them is being conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine Department for Counterintelligence Protection of State Economic Interests together with the regional SBU Office in Vinnytsia and the Main National Police Investigation Department, under the supervision of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office. (According to data from Bitcoin.com)

The intelligence agency said that this particular illegal cryptocurrency mining farm has incurred a loss of as much as $250,000 worth of electrical power per month, that is approximately 5 to 7 million hryvnias. They are engaged in the procedure of finding the culprits behind this operation sector in Vinnytsiaoblenergo and the electricity suppliers.

 The SSU has been involved in raiding several illegal cryptocurrency mining farms. Recently in July 2021, they cracked down and seized all the hardware, in Chernihiv Oblast. The warehouse contained 150 application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) which had consumed almost $110,000 worth of energy, Forklog reported. similarly, in June, the SSU raided another unauthorized mining farm with “350 mining rigs that were illegally connected to the power grid in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and had used over $70,000 worth of electricity”, data mentioned by BItcoin.com.

In my opinion, this is interesting and extremely upsetting simultaneously. The cryptocurrency was never meant to be authorized and bound by legality. However, it is threatening environmental and economical sustainability. Fraudsters take unruly advantage of the benefits the technology possesses which is cause for its demise.