Ukraine’s Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice (SBU) recent­ly raid­ed a cryp­tocur­ren­cy min­ing farm locat­ed next door to the Vin­nyt­siaoblener­go ener­gy dis­tri­b­u­tion com­pa­ny in the city of Vin­nyt­sia. SBU con­fis­cat­ed thou­sands of PS4 Pros that were being used as part of the min­ing oper­a­tion. Accord­ing to the SBU, the accused were held respon­si­ble for steal­ing up to $256,648 worth of ener­gy from the local grid. They were hid­ing this ener­gy con­sump­tion with spe­cial elec­tri­cal meters.

A pos­si­ble col­lu­sion with the pow­er com­pa­ny has­n’t been ruled out by the spy agency, accord­ing to the Kyiv Post (spot­ted by Kotaku). No word on if Vin­nyt­siaoblener­go will be fined for the noise pol­lu­tion from run­ning a few thou­sand PS4’s.

The equip­ment used for cryp­tocur­ren­cy min­ing has nev­er oper­at­ed on premis­es owned by our enter­prise,” the com­pa­ny denied in a state­ment. They said any infor­ma­tion the SBU has “does not cor­re­spond to reality.”

As for why the PS4 Pros were used, that comes down to the flex­i­bil­i­ty of how cryp­tocur­ren­cy is mined. A wide vari­ety of hard­ware can be used if it’s set up prop­er­ly. Of course, the more advanced the bet­ter. and Sony’s last-gen con­sole still has plen­ty to offer miners.

Ukraine Police Seize Over 3,000 PlayStations Used In Cryptocurrency Mining Operation
Pho­to: Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice of Ukraine 

While the SBU did­n’t spec­i­fy how many of con­soles seized were PS4 Pros, but there were 3,800 total tak­en. This oper­a­tion could­n’t have been cheap, since PS4 Pros still retail for $400 on aver­age. So, if all the con­soles were PS4 Pros, it would amount to $1.5 mil­lion. While cryp­tocur­ren­cy oper­a­tions are still lucra­tive, they are hor­ri­bly impact­ing the Earth and the envi­ron­ment in a neg­a­tive way, because of their enor­mous car­bon footprints.

Cryp­to-min­ing has been caus­ing so many prob­lems in the PC mar­ket, Nvidia has had to throt­tle the min­ing poten­tial of its lat­est graph­ic cards so peo­ple can use them for what they are actu­al for: work and gaming.