Ukrainian Railways Uncovers Bitcoin Mining Farm at Lviv Branch

On Friday (November 15), the state-owned Ukrainian Railways ("Укрзалізниця" in Ukrainian, which is pronounced "Ukrzaliznytsia") announced that it had found out that its Lviv branch was illegally operating a Bitcoin mining farm powered by the company's electricity (which is paid for by taxpayers in the country).

Ukrzaliznytsia's press release stated that its security department, along with law enforcement officials, had found a Bitcoin mining farm during an inspection of the premises of the Lviv branch; this "so-called farm" was being "organized by officials of the Lviv Railway unit." 

The person who filed the report on the alleged criminal activity was Oleg Nazaruk, who is the Director of the Department of Economic and Information Security of Ukrzaliznytsia JSC.

Nazaruk said:

During the inspection of the premises where the so-called farm was located, more than 100 pieces of computer equipment were identified that were generating bitcoins. The aforementioned equipment was connected to the Ukrzaliznytsia power grid. The estimated amount of losses since the beginning of the year is UAH 1 million.

The press release interestingly mentioned that, according to the laws of Ukraine, "the issue and circulation of cryptocurrency in the territory of Ukraine is prohibited."

The collected evidence has been passed to the Ternopil Police Department of the Main Directorate of the National Police in Ternopil Oblast.

According to a report by Kyiv Post, this is not the first time that state employees in Ukraine have been caught stealing electricity to mine cryptocurrencies. Back in August 2018, Ukraine's national security agency (SBU) arrested workers at a nuclear power plant (in the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk ) who were illegally mining crypto using electricity from the plant.

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