A large illegal facility for mining bitcoin was discovered by police in the Russian city of Orenburg. The farm has been set up on the premises of an abandoned factory. The masterminds of the crypto project have stolen electricity worth 60 million rubles. They risk years of imprisonment.
Also read: Bitmain Opens Repair Center in Russia
One of Russia’s Biggest
Investigating unusual consumption of electricity, police in the Russian city of Orenburg came across one of the largest facilities for cryptocurrency mining in the country. The unknown miners have illegally set up their farm in a closed-down plant, plugging the cables into the nearby transformer station.
In what Russian media described as “a scene from The Matrix”, investigators found racks upon racks of mining processors. The farm was equipped with powerful application specific circuits, and not the ordinary video cards, used by amateur miners.
The ASIC devices have been most likely used to mine bitcoin, as they are able to provide the necessary computing power to process its transactions. ASICs consume enormous amount of electricity and generate a lot of heat. The cooling needed was provided by large industrial ventilators.
The farm was discovered after employees of the local utility company detected suspiciously high electricity consumption from the old factory. The state-owned enterprise went out of business years ago.
According to preliminary estimates, the energy hungry mining equipment has used electricity worth 60 million rubles (more than $1 million), Ren TV reports. The miners never bothered to pay any bills, however. If found by the police, they may be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Mining on Industrial Scale
Cryptocurrency mining has been gaining popularity in Russia thanks to low electricity rates. Despite calls from officials to take mining out of garages and apartments, many Russians have tried to make a coin or two, using homemade GPU rigs. A string of fires due to faulty hardware has been covered in Russian media,