According to a report from the Russia-based Meduza news source, a former employee of one of Russia’s leading payment processing firms used company-owned machines to mine Bitcoin.
This news broke at a lecture at the Moscow Advanced Communications School, with the CEO of Qiwi, Sergey Solonin, disclosing this information to students. According to Solonin, the firm’s Chief Technical Officer mined thousands of Bitcoins utilizing the firm’s over 100,000 payments terminals.
The executive of the firm found out about this secret operation after other employees found out that the terminals were transmitting information in the dead of night. After an investigation, it was found that the firm’s former CTO mined for three months, and racked up over 500,000 Bitcoin, or approximately $5 million at the time of mining. Solonin stated:
“Most of all, I was amazed by the amount: in three months he has managed to mine 500 thousand coins, which then cost $5 million. And now it’s billions of dollars.”
As pointed out by Qiwi’s CEO, that staggering amount of Bitcoin (3% of the circulation supply) is worth over $4.1 billion, not any small fortune to say the least.
Immediately after learning about the profits gained, the payment firm attempted to set up a similar mining operation that would allow the firm to receive passive income on the side. After the Qiwi team slaved at it for three months, trying to streamline the mining process, it was unfortunately realized that the terminals could not produce enough hash power to compete with the rising GPU/ASIC market. And that’s where the firm’s mining aspirations ended.
Following the expose of his/her operation, the CTO quit, reported not willing to share the Bitcoin mined. However, according to an update on the Meduza news article, at some point in time, the sneaky miner lost the 500,000 Bitcoin as a result of an unnamed cause.
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