18 Jul 2021 9:22 AM +00:00

Update: Ukrainian Warehouse Filled With PS4 Pros Was Bot Farming FIFA Ultimate Team

Update - July 18, 2021

As it turns out, this warehouse originally believed to be for cryptocurrency mining wasn't anything of the sort. According to Delo.ua, this operation was instead grinding FIFA Ultimate Team, selling accounts packed with virtual currency and rare player cards.

While this investigation is still ongoing, it appears these consoles were running bots to grind out FIFA 21. Of course, that completely goes against EA's terms of service and we know EA's been trying to tackle this black market of FUT coins for several years. We'll keep you updated if there's any further developments.

Original - July 13, 2021

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) have raided a cryptocurrency mining farm containing thousands of PS4 Pro. As reported by the Kyiv Post late last week, these consoles were among 5,000 devices allegedly used for illegal crypto mining, the owner of which is now being accused of stealing electricity from the nation’s power grid.

Seized alongside other gaming technology, this warehouse is located within Vinnytsia, next to the Vinnytsiaoblenergo energy distribution company. As part of these accusations, the SBU claims they've stolen around $256,648 worth of energy from the surrounding grid, hiding their activities through special electrical meters.

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Ukraine's Security Service Seize Thousands Of PS4 Pros Used For Crypto Mining

Notably, the SBU hasn't ruled out involvement by power company officials with this scheme. In response to this, the Vinnytsiaoblenergo energy distribution company issued this statement, which we've translated via Google Translate:

A number of media outlets reported that the Security Service of Ukraine had exposed the illegal extraction of large amounts of electricity in the city of Vinnytsia. It is reported that farms for cryptocurrency mining allegedly operated on the territory of Vinnytsiaoblenergo JSC. We officially declare that our company has nothing to do with any illegal activity. Cryptocurrency mining equipment has never operated in the premises owned by our company.

The SBU claims they specifically seized 3,800 consoles and, as noted by Kotaku, if all of these were PS4 Pro's, that roughly adds up to a $1.5 million investment. While the SBU's practices have been criticised, Nataliya Drik, CEO of organization Blockchain Ukraine, spoke within the Kyiv Post about this latest incident, saying the organisation "abuses its power and seizes valuable equipment worth thousands of dollars without legal justification".