The illegal operation cost the State of Ukraine an amount that circles between $ 186,000 and $ 259,300 in electricity per month.
Ukraine’s police unit recently unveiled a vast underground crypto mining farm in Vinnytsia city, which is located three hours from the capital city of Kyiv. The police opened criminal proceedings against the farm operators, who are originally from Kyiv and Vinnytsia, alleging non-authorized use for water, electricity, and thermal energy.
The operations took place in the former warehouse of JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho, a Ukrainian company that focuses on the transmission and distribution of energy. During the raid, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) seized at least 3,800 PlayStation game consoles, more than 500 graphics cards, 50 processors, laptops, phones, and flash drives used during operations.
To hide this consumption from the authorities, the operators used electricity meters that did not show consumption. Investigators are now looking to see if JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho officials also took part in the operations.
Mining Activities Around the World
According to the University of Cambridge analysis, Bitcoin mining globally consumes 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year. This figure surpasses the electricity consumption of entire nations like Argentina or the Netherlands. Preliminary estimates suggest that the Vinnytsia operation used an amount of energy in the range of 5-7 million Ukrainian hryvnia ($ 186,000 – 259,300) per month, an amount of power that the country was not paying.
This recent raid comes after another illegal crypto farm located in Chernihiv, in the northern part of Ukraine, was closed down earlier this month. In June, a tinier operation broke down with the theft of electricity worth $ 70,000 in two months.
This event also comes just weeks after China’s crackdown on mining, which has forced many miners to migrate to other territories, including the United States of America. While cryptocurrency is not illegal in Ukraine, it is also not a legal tender as such. Current legislation requires citizens to disclose how many cryptocurrencies they have.
According to a December 2019 Legal Amendment, Cryptocurrencies are Property
Lawmakers in Ukraine enabled a new measure to the legislation that allows cryptocurrency payments. This measure appeared right after the attempts of the European country to comply with strict international standards against money laundering (AML).
The law additionally includes a provision for individuals to act as transmitters and custodians of cryptocurrencies. However, there is a restriction on services. These services must operate complying with the financial monitoring and reporting standards prescribed by the recently adopted bill.
Also, the government of Ukraine is encouraging the Law on Virtual Assets that will permit Ukrainian citizens to own and transact with cryptocurrencies. The country has more than 100 companies involved in this sector and plans to become a global destination for cryptocurrencies, mining them with nuclear energy, Foreign Policy reported.
By: Jenson Nuñez