Several Russian districts have had illegal crypto mining operations shut down, with authorities seizing equipment and prosecuting operators.
The move against the coin minting facilities comes as debates are taking place over a plan to make miners criminally liable for violating the impending mining regulations.
Bitcoin Mining Facilities Throughout Russia Shut Down in the “Underground”
Local cryptocurrency news outlets this week cited officials to say that police and electricity providers had discovered and taken down illegal crypto mining facilities in Siberia and Southern Russia.
The leaders of a mining operation were accused of stealing significant amounts of electricity in one of the cases.
In the Shpakovsky sector of the Stavropol Krai, workers for Rosseti North Caucasus discovered a sizable makeshift mining farm. The area’s electricity energy company reported on Friday that they had seized 66 ASIC miners alongside law police.
The person from the village of Nadezhda who installed the machinery in his home and linked it to the grid might now be prosecuted for operating the subterranean facility.
According to power engineers, it used 954,000 kWh of electricity, costing more than 6 million rubles ($78,000).
When police were called to a report about unusually high electricity use and noise emanating from the roof of the building in the town of Shelekhov, Irkutsk Oblast, they found a similar installation in the attic of a school.
The school’s electrician and a friend of his who worked in IT were responsible for installing 25 mining machines, which were seized by police.
In the Siberian region, known as Russia’s mining capital, where many individuals mine in basements, garages, and dachas in an effort to earn a profit using subsidised energy in residential neighbourhoods, such incidents are rather typical.
About 1,000 lawsuits against at-home cryptocurrency miners in Irkutsk, it was reported in February.
This week, a different Siberian oblast’s prosecutor’s office said that it had authorised the indictment of seven local citizens who conspired to connect a number of locations housing crypto mining equipment to the grid unlawfully.
They are accused of causing estimated 24 million rubles (more than $310,000) in damages to the power provider.
While lawmakers and government representatives are ready to resubmit a new bill intended to regulate the practise, the most recent instances of Russian authorities cracking down on illegal mining come to light.
Cryptocurrency sector responses were spurred by amendments imposing criminal culpability and severe fines for so-called “grey” miners who avoid paying taxes.