Crimean Government Employees Fined for Mining Bitcoins at Work

Two former employees of Crimea’s Council of Ministers have been fined 30,000 rubles ($525) each for mining bitcoins on the Council’s computer network, Russian media outlets reported Monday.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the unidentified workers were fired in late September 2017. Mining is an energy-intensive process through which new transactions are added to the blockchain, simultaneously rewarding miners with new coins for their efforts.

The mining allegedly took place from September 2016 through January 2017, and resulted in 15,000 rubles in profit – about $260 – according to the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI).

The Agency also indicated that the employees’ mining activities consumed more than 57,000 rubles’ ($1,000) worth of electricity. The workers were subsequently charged with abuse of power, and they have reportedly paid their fines in full.

The incident in Crimea is one of many cases across the globe in which employees have been found to be mining cryptocurrency at work – and subsequently penalized.

In February, for example, nuclear scientists at a Russian weapons research facility were charged for using computers to mine cryptocurrencies.

Three such incidents have been reported in March alone. Staffers at Louisiana’s attorney general’s office are under investigation for appropriating official resources for crypto mining. Likewise, a state employee at Florida’s Department of Citrus was arrested for using Department computers to mine bitcoin and litecoin.

Officials at Australia’s official weather reporting agency, the Bureau of Meteorology, were also reportedly placed under investigation for mining at the beginning of the month.

Bitcoin mining image via Shutterstock 

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