Council Staffers Fired for Bitcoin Mining in Crimea

Stan Higgins
Oct 5, 2017 at 10:00 UTC
Updated Oct 6, 2017 at 10:12 UTC

Two IT workers employed by an authority in Crimea were fired late last month after they were reportedly caught mining bitcoins at work.

RIA Novosti reports that the two unnamed individuals were employees of the Council of Ministers of Crimea, part of the disputed territory’s executive branch. The news service indicates the workers installed mining software on computers owned by the council, though the report didn’t state how long the operation had been in place.

Through mining – the energy-intensive process by which new transactions are added to a blockchain – the two were said to have raised only a small amount of bitcoin before being discovered.

Whether the council is pursuing charges against the individuals remains uncertain at this time.

The incident is the latest instance in which an employee used official resources to mine bitcoin – only to get caught and terminated for doing so.

In January, an IT employee for the Federal Reserve board of directors was fined $5,000 and put on probation after using a server to mine bitcoins. Later in July, a New York City employee was disciplined after being caught using a government computer to mine bitcoins.

Bitcoin mining image via Shutterstock