A number of illicit crypto mining sites that were powered by stolen electricity have been shut down in Russia and Ukraine. Underground farms were discovered in Moscow and Kyiv, the Russian capitals, along with the Russian republic Dagestan.
Russia Busts Illegal Mining Farms at Moscow Region and Dagestan
Russian law enforcement and customs agents have recently uncovered the theft of a large amount of electricity from the network operated by Rosseti in Moscow Oblast, the region adjacent to Russia’s capital. Tass broke the news about the operation this week, quoting Ekaterina Korotkova from the Moscow Interregional Transport Prosecutor’s Office. Official explained:
Audits revealed that there was an illegal connection to the electricity grid and theft of electricity.
Korotkova stated that illegally consumed electricity costs more than 500,000 rubles per hour (almost $7,000.) Police have initiated a criminal case against those responsible for the operation of the coin minting plant.
Dagestan (a North Caucasus republic) was the location of two cryptocurrency mining operations. Komsomolskaya Pravda reported in late November that an extensive mining operation was discovered in a mountainous area. The investigation has revealed that the unknown operator caused damage of over 1,000,000 rubles ($13,000).
Botlikh’s local police discovered that miners had been connected to the grid unpermitted by a mining company. According to a report by Forklog quoting Dagestan’s interior ministry, the crypto farm had been set up since November and run by a 35-year-old resident of Dakhadayevsky district who stole power worth 257,000 rubles (around $3,500).
The law “On Digital Financial Assets,” which went into force in January, regulated some crypto-related activities in the Russian Federation but cryptocurrency mining, among others, isn’t one of them. Officials in Moscow have made increasing calls this year for the recognition of cryptocurrency mining as an entrepreneurial activity, and to tax it accordingly.
Underground Crypto Farm Found In Kyiv Region (Ukraine)
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), announced that it discovered an illegal mine in Kyiv Oblast on Friday. Three local citizens have installed ASICs in an unoccupied hangar in Buchansky, a region that borders the capital. This is according to Ukraine’s main law enforcement agency. Their electrical power consumption was estimated at 3.5 Million Hryvnia, or more than $128,000.
The rising popularity of cryptocurrencies has turned Ukraine into a leader in adoption in recent years and the government has been taking steps to legalize “virtual assets.” While bitcoin mining is not banned, it isn’t yet regulated. This year, the SBU has been going after miners taking advantage of the country’s electricity supply network, shutting down a number of crypto farms in various regions, including a large data center in central Ukraine last month.
Are you optimistic that Russia and Ukraine will soon regulate cryptocurrency mining? Leave a comment below.
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