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Bitcoin Crypto-mining Operation Uncovered at Polish Police Headquarters

Bitcoin Crypto-mining Operation Uncovered at Polish Police Headquarters

Saturday, 31 July, 2021 - 08:45
A coin representing the bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen on computer circuit boards in this illustration picture. (Reuters)

Polish police say they have uncovered a bitcoin mining operation in their own headquarters in Warsaw.

Police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka told Polish news channel TVN24 that a civilian employee — not a police officer — "attempted to steal electricity to mine bitcoin".

"Unfortunately this happened at a police site," Mr Ciarka said, emphasising that at no stage did the suspect have access to police databases.

Mr Ciarka added that the alleged crime had been discovered "quite quickly" but did not give a precise timeline.

TVN24 said the employee had been fired and prosecutors were investigating, reported AFP.

The report said a second person would also be fired over the investigation.

Crypto-mining — the process by which computers mint new virtual currency and validate transactions — requires vast amounts of energy and processing power.

The process typically involves large numbers of sophisticated computers that form a specially designed "rig" that runs the complex calculations required to maintain a cryptocurrency network.

While energy-hungry, the process can be lucrative with each bitcoin currently worth more than 32,600 euros ($52,000).

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