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News hardware & software 12 July 2021, 11:52

Tons of PS4s Discovered in Crypto Mine in Ukraine

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) discovered a huge cryptocurrency mine consisting primarily of PlayStation 4 consoles. Criminals found a way to turn it into a profitable business.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) discovered an abandoned warehouse full of electronic equipment for mining cryptocurrencies in Vinnitsa (central Ukraine). The owners of the digital mine were illegally consuming electricity, trying to mask this with modified meters. According to estimates, the monthly value of illegally used electricity ranged from USD 186,200 to 259,300, and the scope of the procedure could cause energy shortages in the region. The Ukrainian service did not say whether the criminals mined bitcoin (BTC) or another cryptocurrency.

At the premises owned by Vinnytsiaoblenergo, 5000 pieces of electronic devices were secured, including:

  • 3800 gaming consoles;
  • Over 500 GPUs;
  • 50 processors;
  • Laptops, smartphones, flash drives.
Tons of PS4s Discovered in Crypto Mine in Ukraine - picture #1
The scale of the use of PS4 is impressive. Source: SBU.

The use of PlayStation 4 on such a large scale is a curiosity - until now, this device has not attracted the attention of miners due to its low comparably performance. Mining of most cryptocurrencies, including the most popular BTC or ETH, requires huge computing power, so the more efficient the hardware, the better. The mining rigs usually consist of the latest GPU models, such as GeForce RTX 3080, and a seemingly huge investment can pay for itself in just a few months. That's reason enough for graphics cards to disappear from shelves and prices to skyrocket.

Tons of PS4s Discovered in Crypto Mine in Ukraine - picture #2
The mine was well organized, but did not pay for electricity. Source: SBU.

The problem is the cost of energy, which is why crypto mines are created primarily in places where it is cheap. This was the reason for the industry's expansion in Chinese provinces, which had access to cheap energy, but the authorities began to crack down on the activity. If the electricity is free, then mining can prove profitable even with seemingly inefficient devices like the PlayStation 4.

  1. Security Service of Ukraine - official website
  2. Bitcoin Now Easier to Mine Thanks to Chinese Bans

Konrad Sarzynski

Konrad Sarzynski

He has enjoyed writing since childhood and always dreamed of writing his own book. He just never expected it to be a scientific monograph. He recently earned a doctorate in urban development, and is also working in scientific publishing, where he manages several journals and cares for the quality of the papers published there. He began his adventure with Gamepressure in late 2020 in the Tech department. He became heavily involved with the tech newsroom, and for a brief moment even ran it. Currently, he keeps an evening and weekend shift in the Tech section, and contributes to journalistic texts during the day. If a picture has a bad caption in a review, it's probably his fault. He has been playing since forever, and also likes to talk a lot. In 2019, he decided to combine both passions and started streaming on Twitch. A small but remarkable community has formed around his channel, which he considers one of his greatest achievements. He also has a cat and a wife.