Russia uncovers crypto miners in top-secret lab

By Stepan Kravchenko

Russia’s still debating laws on cryptocurrencies, but engineers at a top-secret nuclear lab were already busy mining them, authorities said.

The Scientific Research Institute for Experimental Physics, where the first Soviet nuclear weapon was produced in 1949, yesterday reported “an attempt at unauthorised use of the institutes’s equipment for personal needs, including so called mining”.

The press release didn’t specify when the incident happened or how many people were involved.

Based in Sarov, a closed city about 400km from Moscow, the institute has some of Russia’s most powerful super-computers in a special network isolated from the internet for security reasons.

Investigators have opened a criminal probe into the “poor miners,” the institute said, adding that such cases are frequent now at Russian companies with high computing power. Nobody picked up the phone at the press center of the Federal Security Service, which handles such cases.

The government is working on its first cryptocurrency legislation, which will introduce regulation of mining, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency trade. The country’s vast, low-cost energy reserves make mining particularly attractive. Young Russians now prefer to give as gifts server farms rather than diamonds, Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said earlier this year.

At a meeting with young scientists in Sarov in 2014, President Vladimir Putin praised Russians’ spirit of resourcefulness, saying, “When life sets us certain challenges, we are forced to tackle them one way or another and we do.”

Bloomberg

More in this Section

Government withdraws Philip Lane's nomination for ECB post

KFC stores in Britain forced to close due to chicken shortages

International Medtech company to create 75 jobs for Galway

Survey finds very few Irish SMEs preparing for life after Brexit


Today's Stories

Brexit will hurt bad but let’s not overstate the costs

Pharma lifts the Trump blues for Ireland

We should cheer, not fear, rising interest rates

Ireland in firing line as Trump talks up US trade

Lifestyle

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner