A deputy warden of Russia’s oldest prison has allegedly mined cryptocurrency in the facility and is under investigation on suspicion of stealing electricity to do so, Bitcoin.com reported on Monday.

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Fast facts

  • The deputy manager of Butyrskaya prison in central Moscow has been accused of setting up a crypto mining farm with hardware found in a psychiatric clinic in the prison, according to the report.
  • The mining equipment was installed in November and was in operation until February, consuming electricity that cost over 62,000 rubles (US$1,050) in government funds, the media report said, citing investigators.
  • Russia’s central bank had called for a ban on cryptocurrencies before the invasion of Ukraine but has since granted the country’s largest bank, Sberbank, a license to trade digital assets.
  • Russia’s trade minister recently said that the government and central bank may be reaching a middle ground, and may be legalizing cryptocurrency payments.
  • Russia proposed Bitcoin and national currencies as payment options for energy exports in March.

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