Ukraine Police Seize Thousands Of PS4 Pros Used In Cryptocurrency Mining Operation

The lure of cryptocurrency is last-gen loud.


Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) recently raided a cryptocurrency mining farm located next door to the Vinnytsiaoblenergo energy distribution company in the city of Vinnytsia, confiscating thousands of PS4 Pros that were being used as part of a mining operation. According to the SBU, the accused were held responsible for stealing up to $256,648 worth of energy from the local grid, which they hid with special electrical meters.

Possible collusion with power company officials hadn't been ruled out either by the spy agency, according to the Kyiv Post, as spotted by Kotaku. There's no word yet if Vinnytsiaoblenergo will be fined for all the noise pollution generated from running a few thousand PS4 Pros.

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"The equipment used for cryptocurrency mining has never operated on premises owned by our enterprise," it said in a statement, denying any wrongdoing on its part and adding that the SBU's information "does not correspond to reality."

As for why PS4 Pros were used, that comes down to the flexibility of how cryptocurrency can be mined by a wide variety of hardware if it's set up properly. The more advanced the better, and Sony's last-gen console still has plenty of power underneath its chassis.

Photo: Security Service of Ukraine
Photo: Security Service of Ukraine

While the SBU didn't mention how many of the 3,800 game consoles it seized were PS4 Pros, the crypto-mining operation can't have been cheap. Even with the PS5 in the market, a PS4 Pro still retails for $400 on average, making for a $1.5 million cost, not including the cost of earplugs necessary to keep the warehouse staff from developing severe tinnitus. Cryptocurrency operations are still lucrative ventures, but one that has had a devastating effect on the planet and the environment due to the massive carbon footprint and energy demands that it entails.

The rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) has only added to the discussion over the increasingly harmful side-effects of crypto-mining, with Nvidia having to throttle the mining potential of its latest graphic cards just so that they can actually be used for what they were intended for: gaming.

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