Russian Prison Crypto Mining Operation Rumbled

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  • Russia’s oldest prison has been revealed to have been home to an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation
  • A deputy warned allegedly mined crypto from a wing of the prison, built in 1771
  • The operation ran for three months in 2012-22

A cryptocurrency mining operation in Russia’s oldest prison has been rumbled, with a deputy warden accused of being the ringleader. The farm in Butyrskaya prison, which was built in 1771, tapped into the complex’s electricity supply and mined cryptocurrency through the psychiatric clinic run by the Federal Penitentiary Service at the prison. This discovery is another example of the weird and wonderful places that illegal cryptocurrency mining has taken place, which include a nuclear power station, a school, and FBI servers.

Prison Operation Used Government-funded Electricity

The news of the intriguing crypto mining attempt was reported in Russian news outlet Kommersant, who revealed that investigators have so far established that the deputy warden, together with his accomplices who are yet to be identified, are thought to have installed the mining equipment in November last year. The crypto mining operation ran until February of this year, consuming almost 8,400 kW of electricity in the process, leaving the local government more than 62,000 rubles ($1,000) out of pocket.

The deputy warden is accused of “actions that clearly go beyond his powers, thereby significantly violating the legally protected interests of the society or the state”, with the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation confirming that it was investigating one of the deputy wardens for possible abuse of power.

The Crypto Mining Hall of Fame Has Another Entrant

Illegal cryptocurrency mining operations have famously been uncovered in all sorts of strange places, with Russia’s oldest prison now able to add itself to this eclectic list. This list includes a Ukrainian nuclear power station, FBI servers, a Chinese school, and a Polish police HQ.