After the Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine has closed another illegal cryptocurrency mining farm in the city of Vinnytsia near Kyiv. The underground mining facility is said to be the largest in the country wherein 5000 computers, 50 processors, 500 graphic cards and 3800 PS 4 consoles were being used.
The Ukrainian Security Service estimates that as much as $ 259,300 worth of electricity was called for mining operations and this was being concealed with the use of electricity meters that did not reflect the actual consumption. The Vinnytsia mining gang bust-up is part of the government’s continued crackdown on illegal Bitcoin mining operations in a country that is also one of the leading adopters of cryptocurrencies in the world.
Given the popularity of the crypto industry in the country, authorities have taken small steps in charting out suitable regulations for Bitcoin. In 2020, Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy had encouraged the study of sourcing nuclear energy for crypto mining projects. InTotilize its nuclear energy, the country has plans to construct a $700 million data center near the Zaporizhzhia Power plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Thus, in its efforts to regulate the crypto sector in the country, the raids have only intensified.
Chernihiv Oblast Mining Bust
In the Oblast mine shut down, the yet-to-be-identified owners had routed an electrical substation’s connection to the mining farm. That substation powered numerous local bodies which would have been left without electricity if the mining farm was left undiscovered. A total of 150 ASICs were seized from this raid while in another crackdown, 350S ASICs were recovered.
This is not the first time that PS4 consoles have been used for Bitcoin mining. There have been earlier instances of Homebrewed Game Boy and the Raspberry Pi Bitcoin miner. Though not the best way to work out a mining farm, with a 256-bit bus, the PS4’s memory bandwidth scales to 176 Gbps, with which traditional mining becomes operational.
Before Ukraine, Iran took similar strict measures on illegal Bitcoin mining farms operating in the country despite the government suspension of all crypto-mining activities earlier this year. Iran is facing a severe electricity shortage this summer leading to several blackouts, and many blame crypto mining activities for it.