Ukrainian police seize 3,800 PS4 consoles used for illegal crypto mining

Ukrainian authorities have raided an allegedly illicit crypto farm in the country. According to an official announcement from the Security Service of Ukraine, the facility was located on the former premises of JSC Vinnytsiaoblenergo, an electricity supply company. 

The illegal crypto miners concealed their activities by manipulating electricity meters to steal electricity from JSC Vinnytsiaoblenergo.

Described as the largest underground mining operation discovered by the Ukrainian police, the farm housed nearly 5,000 computer equipment units, including 3,800 PlayStation 4 consoles, over 500 graphics cards, 50 processing units, notebooks, phones and flash drives.

The SBU estimated the state’s monthly losses due to electricity theft — which had the potential to cause electricity shortages for the entire city of Vinnytsa — to range between $186,200 and $259,300.

Related: Gamers and miners spar over scarce top hardware

Several estimates show that Sony’s last-gen gaming console, PlayStation 4, is not the ideal rig to mine cryptocurrency. Given its slightly outdated configuration compared to many mining rigs available today, even a 16-console PS4 setup would fail to generate meaningful returns with legal electricity usage.

Ukraine was ranked as the world’s leader in Chainalysis’ Global Crypto Adoption Index last year. The Eastern European country is trying to lead the region with crypto-friendly initiatives such as the proposal of a bill that aims to determine the legal status of crypto assets, including rules for their circulation and issuance in the country.

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