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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Crypto Mining Farm Uncovered in Russia’s Oldest Prison

Crypto Mining Farm Uncovered in Russia’s Oldest Prison – A crypto mining operation is being investigated by Russian law enforcement inside Butyrka, Russia’s oldest prison. With the help of unnamed accomplices, a deputy warden is accused of stealing electricity to mint digital currency.

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A high-ranking member of the management of Butyrskaya prison in central Moscow’s Tverskoy District is being investigated for setting up a crypto mining farm. Also known as Butyrka, this is Russia’s oldest prison, dating back to 1771.

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The coin minting equipment was discovered in the Federal Penitentiary Service’s psychiatric clinic at the prison. According to the business newspaper Kommersant, the Russian Federation’s Investigative Committee is presently investigating one of the deputy wardens for alleged power abuse.

The officer, together with unidentified accomplices, installed the mining equipment in November 2021, according to the investigators. Until February of this year, the rigs were extracting cryptocurrency.

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During that time, the machines used about 8,400 kW of electricity, which the government paid for at a cost of over 62,000 rubles ($1,000). The deputy warden is accused of activities that plainly exceed his authority, so seriously compromising the legally protected interests of society or the state as a result of this.

For many Russians, crypto mining using subsidized and occasionally stolen electricity has become an appealing source of extra cash. Regions like Krasnoyarsk Krai and Irkutsk Oblast, which have long had low electricity tariffs for the population and government facilities, have become hubs for illegal activities.

Illegal miners have been blamed for a slew of outages and blackouts, especially in residential areas where electrical networks can’t handle the extra strain. To combat the problem, Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog has urged that home crypto miners pay higher electricity bills.

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Law enforcement agencies have raided underground mining operations all across the country, with over 1,500 mining machines recently seized from two illegal cryptocurrency farms in Dagestan. One of them was minting cryptocurrencies at a water supply pumping facility in the Russian republic.

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