During a special operation on Thursday, police in Ukraine seized thousands of PlayStations used to mine cryptocurrencies at an illegal mining farm.
According to an official note published by the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), this was the largest seizure of its kind in the country’s history. In all, 5,000 pieces of equipment were confiscated, being 3,800 PlayStations, 500 GPUs, in addition to 50 CPUs, pen drives, documents and phones.
Mining cryptocurrencies on unusual gear is not uncommon in the community — they’ve managed to mine bitcoin even on a 1989 Game Boy.
At the beginning of the year, the rumor that a Chinese man who had managed to hack his PlayStation 5 to mine Ethereum (ETH) gained prominence in the press. However, the story was not true.
Images of the mining farm with thousands of PlayStations in a shed in Ukraine, however, suggest that video game mining isn’t impossible after all.
Ukrainian authorities did not specify which cryptocurrency was mined at the site, nor what types of changes video games had to go through to support the activity.
The farm was found in the town of Vinnitsa and was located in a service shed at the headquarters of the region’s electricity supplier, called Vinnytsiaoblenergo.
The equipment was illegally connected to the city’s electricity grid and, according to authorities, the company’s employees are possibly involved in the illegal energy theft scheme. “Whole Vinnitsa blocks could have been without light,” the note reads.
It is estimated that the PlayStations’ illegal farm’s energy consumption caused a loss of $250,000 per month for the company.
Despite today’s operation, legal cryptocurrency mining is welcomed by the Ukrainian government. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Energy discussed the possible use of nuclear energy to build a bitcoin mining center in the country.
The CEO of Hotmine, the maker of bitcoin mining companies that is in dialogue with the local government, even said at the time that all the nuclear energy available in Ukraine could make the country one of the world leaders in the mining sector.