A branch of the Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsya) has discovered an illegal cryptocurrency (bitcoin) mining farm operating on the company’s electricity. It was organized by officials of the Lviv Railway unit.
Ironically, the company itself is owned by the state and is, therefore, a thief of its own wallet. According to a spokesperson for the railways, it concerns the part of the railways in Lviv, which misused its electricity by supplying more than 100 crypto mining devices with the power to mine Bitcoin, they say in an official statement. Oleg Nazaruk, Director of the Department of Economic and Information Security of Ukrzaliznytsia JSC said:
During the inspection of the premises where the so-called farm was located, more than 100 pieces of computer equipment were identified that were generating bitcoins. The aforementioned equipment was connected to the Ukrzaliznytsia power grid. The estimated amount of losses since the beginning of the year is UAH 1 million (€ 40,000).
The mining farm was discovered by the security guards of the railways, in combination with local prosecutors. The director of the railways announced that the mining farm was set up and organized by officials from the Lviv railways.
Energy fraud worth € 40,000
According to the report, the magnitude of energy fraud is around 1 million Ukrainian hryvnias, about € 40,000 in 2019. It is difficult to determine how long the farm has been around.
Since both the circulation of Bitcoin and the mining thereof are prohibited in Ukraine, those involved are prosecuted. The whole issue is currently the responsibility of the Ternopil Oblast police department, which is responsible for matters of national size.
Cryptocurrency mining not regulated
Despite the fact that cryptocurrency mining is not regulated in Ukraine, quite a few investigations into cryptocurrency mining have been conducted in the country.
In August of this year, the intelligence service of the country arrested employees of a power plant for the deployment of mining activities in the nuclear plant itself. Before that, police officers were already arrested who were crying out cryptocurrency at their own workplace.
In the meantime, the state indicates that it does not intend to regulate the mining of cryptocurrency in the short term.