The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced on Monday that it conducted a massive crackdown on the largest underground cryptocurrency mining farms discovered in the country so far. According to the authorities, Ukrainian law enforcement has already seized around 5,000 computers used for mining purposes.
The SBU investigators unveiled that residents from Kyiv and Vinnytsia built the extensive crypto mining farm infrastructure in a former warehouse of JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho. That said, the illegal miners stole electricity from the facility and relied on some tools to trick the electricity meters and hide their real energy consumption. “According to preliminary estimates, the monthly losses to the state ranged from UAH 5 to 7 m. (USD 186,200 to 259,300). However, such illegal activity could lead to power surges and left people without electricity,” the SBU noted.
During the seizure, Ukrainian authorities took control of 3,800 game consoles, over 500 graphic cards, 50 processors, draft documentation on electricity consumption, and an undisclosed number of notebooks, phones and flash drives. Due to the criminal nature of the case, the SBU initiated a criminal investigation to file charges on the theft of water, electricity, or thermal energy, which is punishable in the country with fines and jail time if a court determines it.
Officials from JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho Still under Investigation
However, the Security Service of Ukraine clarified the following about the investigation: “Currently, investigative actions are underway to identify all the people involved in illegal activities. Involvement of the officials of JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho is being checked.”
Ukraine is known for being a high-interest hotspot for the crypto industry in terms of market share. Chainalysis revealed in a survey that Ukraine is increasingly becoming a country that is widely adopting Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto assets, as investors bought $400 million in virtual currencies in 2020.
With the existing figures revealed by the firm, Ukraine hits similar figures as South Korea, the Netherlands and Canada on crypto gains, considering that these countries have solid economies.
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