Rosseti, the largest Russian energy company, claimed damage from illegal mining in the amount of 450 billion rubles within the last three years. 35 cases of theft of electricity for cryptocurrency mining were revealed.

Rosseti, electricity network operator in Russia, which ensures the transmission and distribution of electricity, revealed the amount of damage it received from illegal mining. According to Rosseti, it lost 450 billion rubles (approximately $6 bln) due to so-called “black miners”, people and organizations who mined cryptocurrency using illegal connections to electric networks.

“Since 2017, we have recorded attempts by unscrupulous merchants to reduce their costs and increase profits by stealing electricity for cryptocurrency mining. We call such "entrepreneurs" black miners," Rosseti announced in the statement.

According to the company, within three years, Rosseti Group revealed more than 35 cases of theft of electricity by “black miners” in 20 regions of Russia.

The sharp growth of bitcoin price in 2017 fueled an increased interest in mining. Electricity bills account for about half of the costs of maintaining a mining farm.

“Materials on all revealed cases of theft of electricity by “black miners” were obligatory transmitted to law enforcement agencies for making procedural decisions.”

Earlier, in March 2018, a cryptocurrency mining farm was found in the building of the abandoned Orenburg rubber-technical products plant. The electricity supplier at the plant drew attention to the sharply increased consumption and called the police. The losses from the actions of miners were estimated at 60 million rubles ($1 million).