Illegal Crypto Mining Farm May Have Been Gaming Bot Farm

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  • A suspected illegal crypto mining farm may have been a video game bot farm
  • Hundreds of video consoles were found in a warehouse in the Ukraine all hooked up to the same network
  • The consoles may have been gathering FUT tokens from the FIFA soccer game to sell on the black market

A mammoth illegal cryptocurrency mining farm in the Ukraine may in fact have been an elaborate way to earn FUT tokens, the virtual currency used in the popular FIFA video game. Ukraine’s security service uncovered the underground facility earlier this month, noting it to be the largest ever found in the country, but new reports are suggesting that the setup may have been geared not towards mining cryptocurrencies but instead to earn FUT tokens by using the machines to continually play games of FIFA.

Crypto Mining Through Gaming Consoles Unheard Of

The massive operation was discovered earlier this month in the city of Vinnytsia, where officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) found some 5,000 units of hardware, including 3,800 gaming consoles and 500 video cards. The SBU were altered to the site after the owners reported a huge spike in electricity use, and although initial reports were that the site had been illegally used for crypto mining, the equipment discovered at the site lends itself to notions of a gaming bot farm more than a crypto mining operation.

The reason for this suspicion is the type of hardware recovered; crypto mining through video game consoles is almost unheard of compared to GPUs. This fact lends itself to the suggestion of a gaming bot farm, which is where multiple machines are wired up to play the same online game against each other 24/7 in return for the virtual currency associated with the game.

Token-stuffed Accounts Sold on Black Market

In the case of the suspected crypto mining farm it seems to have been the popular FIFA soccer game, which rewards players with FUT tokens which can be used for in-game enhancements and customizations. Rather than starting from scratch, new players have started buying accounts full of FUT tokens on the black market, hence the desire for large operations such as this to run such a huge operation.

The warehouse owners hosting the machines have denied any involvement in the activity, leading to a legal dispute over who will pay the $256,000 electricity bill.