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Ukrainian police raids crypto miners with thousands of PS4’s


The Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, has discovered and raided a cryptocurrency mining farm that supposedly stole electricity from the country’s power grid. 

3,800 gaming consoles were confiscated by the police

Usually, these illegal cryptocurrency mining farms are filled with computers or high-powered specialized mining rigs. Instead of that, the Ukrainian police found racks with thousands of PS4 Pros stacked vertically side-by-side.  

In total, the police confiscated over 5,000 gaming-related devices — 3,800 of which were consoles along with more than 500 PC graphics cards and various PC processors from a warehouse right next to (and formerly owned by) the Vinnytsiaoblenergo energy distribution company. Three thousand eight hundred consoles mean an investment of around US$1,500,000, assuming all of them are PS4 Pros.

Vinnytsiaoblenergo denied any involvement in the mining operation

According to the SBU, the offenders stole electricity from the provider and used doctored meters to hide their tracks. The agency estimates that between 5 and 7 million Ukrainian hryvnias ($183,300 to $256,600) worth of electricity has been stolen from the provider.

Vinnytsiaoblenergo denied any involvement in a statement sent to the Kyiv Post. According to the energy distribution company, the equipment used for crypto mining has never operated on their enterprise premises. It also said that it didn’t find any evidence of electric theft and that the SBU’s findings “do not correspond to reality.”

It is likely that the miners were not mining Bitcoin

PC graphics cards have been in short supply for years due to the increasing demand for high-powered GPUs for cryptocurrency mining. It is extraordinary that the miners chose to use PS4’S to start their operation. These devices are not close to the power of the high-powered GPU most of the miners use. These PS4’s were maybe more accessible to get their hands on than a professional mining rig because of the launch of the PS5. Buying up some old PS4s and using the GPUs is not a very efficient way to mine cryptocurrencies, and, likely, the miners were not mining Bitcoin, but a more GPU-friendly coin such, for example, Ethereum.

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