The underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies allows transactions without any third parties that would confirm the transaction. Instead, crypto miners confirm transactions. In the past, it was possible to mine using only your home computer. But today, things are different. Crypto mining is considered an expensive venture mainly from your equipment and your electricity cost.
According to reports in Ukraine, a staff at the liaison office of the national police department in Rivne County started mining while working for approximately four months. After getting caught, the accused is now facing charges of theft of electricity. However, it is still unknown exactly how much power was stolen over the past few months. For the accused, there is a possibility of facing 3 years of jail time.
The operation became public in April when the discovery of mining equipment was made by Ukraine’s internal security service. On the same day, an employee reported something that was described as “two wooden housings which together contained eight video cards, six power supplies, two hard drives, a motherboard and a full-scale tower”.
This isn’t the first time. In fact, there were already two Russian engineers in the past that were taken by the Federal Security Service agents for mining Bitcoin in the nuclear research center that they are working in. According to the CEO of Sberbank, Herman Gref, he revealed that there were also some of his employees were caught doing the same.
He said in a statement that “We are not involved in cryptocurrency mining, though oftentimes we catch our personnel using our computer equipment for mining activities”.
In the US, the IT manager who worked for Florida’s Department of Citrus was arrested for mining both Litecoin and Bitcoin. Matthew Davenport was caught mainly because of the electric bill. The utility bill jumped by $825 in just a few months. And not only that, Davenport is also accused of using public funds in buying crypto mining equipment.
There was also a case wherein a professor used the National Science Foundation supercomputers in order to mine cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, these supercomputers were designed for research in order for scientists to figure out how to cure cancer.
Bitcoin Mining is an Energy Hog
There was the very first scientific paper that calculated just how much electricity do cryptocurrencies actually need? Unfortunately, it proves that crypto mining is not eco-friendly. According to the study, energy use could double by the end of the year and by the end of 2019, Bitcoin could be using more electricity than what solar panels can generate.
And because of this, cryptojacking is a serious offense, especially for companies. There are even some companies that do this practice. You get to download something only to find out that your computer is already contributing its spare computational power.
In fact, since crypto mining is energy extensive, there are miners who opt to go to places with cheap electricity such as China and Iceland.
There is a growing number of crimes associated with crypto mining. In fact, 600 crypto hardware were stolen in Iceland only to be recovered in China.