According to local media, a Russian jail official is under suspicion of creating an unauthorized crypto mining operation on the premises. According to reports, the operation had not been in place for long. The equipment was initially put in place in November 2021, during Bitcoin’s meteoric rise, and stayed operational until February 2022, when the Bitcoin price hovered around $40,000.
Russian warden accused of setting up an illegal crypto mining farm
The city of Orenburg, located in the southern Urals, is home to the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service’s Orenburg Central Penal Colony.
The Moscow prison was built in 1771 and is still operational today. According to reports from the Federal Penitentiary Service, the mining operation was done at a psychiatric facility in the country.
According to media reports, the deputy warden is being investigated for this reason.
His companions in operation have yet to be identified, however. The operation allegedly lasted only a few minutes and utilized little power. On the other hand, crypto mining has grown in popularity in Russia, especially in regions with subsidized power. The machines consumed around 8,000 electric kW. This costs around 62,000 rubles ($1,000).
Raid Across the Country
Authorities have launched raids around the country to find equipment from underground mining sites after reports of grid failures and blackouts.
Over 1,500 rigs have been seized thus far. One farm was discovered to operate at the country’s water supply utility’s pumping station.
The prohibited mining does not stay in Russia. Illegal miners have been discovered stealing electricity in Malaysia, China, Kazakhstan, and Canada. This is likely to continue until the world unifies on a cost-effective and long-term solution to mine Bitcoin. No prison facility has ever been used to mine Bitcoin, though.