Cheap or free electricity is one of the primary resources for mining Bitcoin. But what happens when you could easily tap the state’s electricity to make money without anyone knowing about it?
Well, the answer to the question can be perceived in a recent development in Ukraine where a unit of the state-run Ukrainian Railways corporation (Ukrzaliznytsya) was caught mining bitcoin illegally.
According to an official announcement by Ukrzaliznytsya, the state-run corporation’s security department discovered that the Lviv Railway unit used its electricity to connect 100 cryptocurrency mining machines.
Officials at the railway unit were allegedly responsible for the operation, which according to findings, consumed one million Ukrainian hryvnias ($40,700) worth of electricity since the start of 2019.
The update also confirmed that details regarding the offense were submitted to the Ternopil Police Department of the Main Directorate of the National Police in Ternopil Oblast, given that crypto-related activities are banned in the country.
Authorities have initiated criminal proceedings against the suspects, and even though the amount they made from the illegal operations were not disclosed, the report noted that the price of Bitcoin was 208,000 hryvnias ($8,475) at the time of the inspection.
Meanwhile, the latest development in Ukraine is certainly not the first case of government workers using their corporation’s resources to mine Bitcoin. In October, we reported that a Russian nuclear engineer was fined $7000 for using supercomputers at the office to mine Bitcoin.