Butyrka, the oldest prison of Russia, is currently a crypto-hotspot, but for the wrong reasons. Russia’s oldest prison has been found to be a crypto mining spot. The mining location was housed within a psychiatric clinic in the prison. This Russian prison was built in 1771.
Reports say that a deputy warden was involved in the illegal crypto mining. Federal investigations are on to get a complete picture of the crime. Officers are working to identify accomplices, till now unidentified, that helped the warden in the crime.
The Uncovering of Illegal Crypto Mining in Russia’s Oldest Prison
The Russian daily Kommersant carried the news of illegal crypto mining in Russia’s prison, last week. It has come to light that the mining equipment for minting crypto currency was installed between November 2021 and February 2022.
An amount of 8, 400kW of power was consumed for mining during this period. This insight has led to strong suspicions regarding the involvement of the deputy warden in the illegal act. The illegal mining has cost the government more than 62, 000 rubles ($1050) in funds.
The Investigative Committee looking into the incident suspects the warden to have misused his official powers and having violated laws in the process.
Reports of Increased Illegal Use of Electricity for Crypto Mining
Recent reports in Russia show increased use of subsidized power and pilfered electricity for crypto mining. These sources of electricity offer many Russians an attractive way to earn extra income.
Such unauthorized activities of illegal mining are being seen in areas of Irkutsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai. These regions are hotbeds given the low electricity rates here.
Illegal crypto mining has long been in news in Russia for causing frequent power-outs. These occurrences have been observed more in Russia’s residential areas where the excess load of mining has resulted in electrical grids breaking down.
Proposals to increase electricity rates for crypto miners in residential settings have been increasing in the recent past. Regular raids are also being conducted by law enforcement agencies to bust illegal mining operations.
The incident comes to light in the backdrop of Russia’s recent call for a cryptocurrency ban. The central bank of Russia had urged for a ban before the Ukraine war.
But the country has relaxed its stern call for a ban since the war, even offering a license to Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, to use digital assets for trading. The country’s trade minister reportedly stated that the talks between the central bank and the Russian government may have reached a consensus. The country could soon be making payments in cryptocurrencies a legal option.