Russian church fined for Bitcoin mining

A Russian church has fallen foul of a court ruling, over its sudden increase in electricity consumption…

by Manoj Sharma for CNR

A church in Russia has been fined 1 million rubles for utilising sizeable official amounts of energy for the mining of Bitcoin.

According to the news reported by Today, the church came under the suspicion of authorities because it was consuming a large amount of energy, which caused the surrounding areas to become adversely affected. The inspection led officials to the mining operation run within a building rented by the church. Subsequently, the officials forced the church authorities to pay the electricity bill, which totalled 1 million rubles ($15,000).

This investigation took place between May and August 2017 when a power company in Russia, Irkutskenergo, noticed that its electricity consumption rose last May. By the beginning of August, the consumption rose to two million kWh.

What’s caused the delay in the punishment being confirmed is that the church disputed the fine in the court, stating that the consumption of two million kWh in energy was, in fact, used for heating the building. While the church argued that it consumed less energy than stated, the court ultimately found that the fine was reasonable.

This isn’t the first time unusual BTC mining story has come out of Russia. In February, scientists working at Russia’s nuclear warhead facility, the Federal Nuclear Centre in Sarov, were caught out using an immensely powerful supercomputer to mine BTC.

Similar cases can be seen elsewhere. For example, in Florida, one of the employees of the state’s Department of Citrus was arrested for involvement in crypto mining. In March, two former government employees of Crimean were fined 30,000 rubles for allegedly mining cryptocurrencies.

Given the excessive electricity demands in cryptocurrency mining, hiding it from authorities is proving rather tricky…

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