Russian state-owned power grid company Rosseti revealed that illegal crypto miners have stolen around 6.6 million dollars worth of electricity since the rise in Bitcoin mining in 2017.
The company revealed that the miners used illegally built power stations, tampered power meters, and hidden mining farms to steal electricity from local energy providers.
Illegal crypto miners
The company revealed the figure in its official Telegram channel, revealing that the “black miners” have been reported in 20 different regions of Russia.
The company reported mining farms that do not have any legal contracts with the local power grid services but still use the power grid to mine cryptocurrencies without having to pay for their usage.
The company elucidated that most cases were identified in existing businesses that mined cryptocurrencies to earn extra revenue. Some cases were identified in factories where the owner wanted to earn additional revenue while others used rented offices, garages, isolated houses. One black miner was using an actual dairy farm to mine cryptocurrencies with installed mining rigs.
How do they work?
These illegal crypto miners steal electricity by pulling the nearest power cord towards them and use their own electricity transformers to utilize the energy. In one of the reported cases, the miner had hidden the entire mining farm underground by burying the rigs in the soil of a public forest.
Rosetti detected 35 black mining cases across 20 of the 85 Russian regions that caused a loss of 450 million Russian rubles and reported each case to local authorities.
Russia is not the only region facing these “black miners” that illegally mine cryptocurrencies. As Cryptopolitan previously reported, Chinese authorities discovered an illegal Bitcoin mining facility built in a cemetery in the Heilongjiang province. Chinese authorities also seized 4,000 mining hardware in the Jiangsu province.