The city court in Syktyvkar, capital of the Russian Komi Republic, convicted a 39-year-old local resident who was operating an underground crypto farm guilty of electricity theft. The crypto mining hardware was installed in a building rented from an industrial enterprise and illegally connected to the nearby transformer station.
The man ran the crypto farm for at least five years.
The man ran the crypto mining facility for at least five years, using 1.3 million kilowatt-hours of unpaid electricity to mint cryptocurrencies, the region’s Prosecutor’s Office said in a press release. The stolen electricity is worth an estimated 5.7 million Russian rubles (close to $75,000). According to the announcement, the man whose identity was not immediately revealed has received a two-year suspended sentence with a probation period of two years for his mining activities between 2015 and 2020, to which he admitted in court.
Crypto mining has been spreading across energy-rich Russia.
In the absence of clear crypto mining regulations, crypto mining has been spreading across energy-rich Russia, not only as a profitable business but also as an additional income source for many ordinary people. In some regions, local authorities have complained that the rise of crypto mining in basements and garages has caused damage to the electrical network, which is struggling to meet the growing loads. In Irkutsk Oblast, which maintains some of the lowest electricity rates in Russia, at $0.01 per kWh for households, a power utility has filed 85 lawsuits this year against home miners. A recent report also revealed the company had already won nine cases from which it expects to receive 18.7 million rubles ($250,000) in compensation.