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Students Mining Crypto in Dorms May Face Criminal Prosecution in Russia, Lawyer Says

Students Mining Crypto in Dorms May Face Criminal Prosecution in Russia – According to a legal expert reported by local media, university students in Russia who mint digital currencies in their dorms face penalties and even criminal prosecution.

The warning comes as Russian officials aim to stop crypto mining in residential areas by providing cheap energy.

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Students have been cautioned that mining digital currency in the hostel can be viewed as a criminal violation of the law, as more Russians set up improvised crypto farms in places with subsidized electricity, such as their homes.

Also Read: EU Members Want to Task New AML Watchdog With Crypto Oversight

Universities would at the very least demand that they pay for the extra power use, according to Vladimir Shelupakhin of the law firm Gorgadze and Partners, who spoke to the RIA Novosti news agency. However, the amateur miners may be charged for crimes in some situations, he added.

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According to the assessment, mining might result in considerable material degradation. If a university pays a higher electrical cost, it may demand reimbursement from students who have been detected minting cryptocurrency. But, if the miners refuse to pay these costs, Shelupakhin said, they may have to pay with their freedom.

“If the miners cannot be identified, it is necessary to report them to the police.” In this situation, the violators will face criminal charges under Article 165 of the Criminal Code (causing property harm by deception or breach of trust),” according to the legal expert.

Crypto mining is not only a rich industry for enterprises in Russia, but it has also become an alternative source of income for many ordinary Russians. In the country, household electricity is subsidized and significantly cheaper than power sold to businesses, especially in energy-rich regions.

In Irkutsk, where power tariffs start at $0.01 per kWh in rural regions, consumption has climbed several folds in 2021, according to authorities, who believe the spike is due to mining equipment running in basements and garages. Breakdowns and outages have been blamed on miners.

Also Read: Study Claims China Mining Ban Worsened Bitcoin’s Carbon Footprint

Members of the legislative Energy Committee have proposed to the federal government a package of measures to combat home mining in an effort to address the problem. The action comes after a Russian energy suppliers’ association submitted similar suggestions to the State Duma, parliament’s lower house.

Legislators want utilities to be able to disconnect illicit miners from the grid, and consumers required to declare what they plan to do with their electricity.

They also believe that internet service providers should be required to reveal the IP addresses of suspected miners as well as data about their mining activities with authorities.

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