Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency And Blockchain News

Illegal Bitcoin Mining in Russia: Russian Police Discover a Large Mining Farm in an Abandoned Factory


Bitcoin News reports that police in Russia have unearthed what is believed to be one of the Russia’s largest Bitcoin facilities; albeit one that is being operated illegally. While investigating an unusual surge in electricity consumption in the city of Orenburg, the police discovered the facility, which is set up in an abandoned plant. The culprits have plugged the cables into a nearby transformer station.

In what the police described as a ‘scene from The Matrix, the investigators discovered racks upon racks of mining processors. The facility was fitted with powerful application-specific circuits, not the ordinary video cards that are used by amateur miners.

The discovery was made after employees of the local utility company noticed suspicious high electricity consumption from the abandoned factory, which was a state owned enterprise that closed years ago. Preliminary estimates show that the power-hungry mining equipment has gobbled electricity worth 60 million Rubles, which the miners never paid. Police have launched a manhunt for the miners and they risk a jail term of about 10 years.

Large Scale Mining

Cryptocurrency mining in Russia has gained traction of late due to a good environment and low electricity tariffs. However, Russian authorities have been at pains to eradicate mining from apartments and garages due to a string of fires caused by faulty hardware.

Recent reports show that amateur mining is not as profitable as it was in the past and the majority of miners are combining resources for large scale mining. Different Russian regions have come up with policies and strategies in readiness to host industrial scale mining facilities. Already, Leningrad Oblast has invited miners to take advantage of a nuclear power plant which will be decommissioned in the next few years. The project has already started and miners have been notified of availability of cheap power in the region.

Bitcoin News reports that the Russian Federation has shown its readiness to accommodate entrepreneurs looking to invest in cryptocurrency mining. Power is in plentiful supply in the country as homes and businesses only consume less than 60% of the total country’s electricity power. Recently, a Russian cryptocurrency investor purchased two electric power stations that will be used only for Bitcoin mining. The country has also invited foreign investors to take advantage of cheap electric power and negotiate favorable deals with the authorities.

However, the Bitcoin mining farm in Orenburg does not have any approval from authorities and was not paying for power. The mining facility in the abandoned rubber processing factory is definitely not what the authorities intended for the prospects of large scale mining. Nonetheless, the illegal mining facility remains one of the largest in Russia.

Is Russia positioning itself as the home of cryptocurrency miners? Leave us your opinion in the comments section.