Ukrainian authorities crack down on alleged cryptocurrency mining operation that used over 3,000 PlayStation 4 consoles
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Illegal cryptocurrency miners have had more than their share of run-ins with law enforcement authorities. The unusually high power usage, combined with the inherently secretive nature of the operation, is enough to paint a giant bullseye on their backs. The Security Service of Ukraine (via Tom's Hardware) happened to stumble upon one such establishment in the city of Vinnytsia and found some unusual hardware, the kind that we don't see in cryptocurrency mining setups often.
Depending on the cryptocurrency in question, miners almost always rely on gaming graphics cards or ASICs to do all the heavy lifting. However, this particular group of Ukrainian entrepreneurs decided to daisy chain 3,800 PlayStation 4 consoles for the task. Authorities also found over 500 graphics cards, processors, notebooks, smartphones and other peripherals at the site. The criminals also tried to hide their tracks by underreporting the actual amount of electricity that the operation consumed.
In all likelihood, someone probably figured out how to repurpose a PlayStation 4 to mine cryptocurrency. The PlayStation 4 is somewhat obsolete in the current year, and it shouldn't be difficult to source second-hand or even new units for cheap. At that time, it could have been the more affordable alternative, compared to the sky-high prices of gaming graphics cards. Then again, there is a possibility of the consoles being used for something other than crypto mining.
Nonetheless, gamers will be glad knowing that the operation didn't use the newer (and more scarce) PlayStation 5 console and relatively fewer gaming graphics cards. One can't help but wonder what will happen to the PlayStation 4 consoles in question. In all likelihood, they will be auctioned off to the general public. That is more or less the same fate as ending up on used markets like eBay, which happens every time the value of a cryptocurrency falls.