Mining BTC Gets Church Billed $15,000

Mining BTC Gets Church Billed $15,000


Citizens in Russia and the surrounding regions are lucky because specific companies and private individuals are charged lower electricity rates. With low prices, Russians are getting creative and have put in place crypto mining hardware to utilize the electricity while generating some revenue.

In the same fashion, an Evangelical Protestant church in Siberian Federal District in Irkutsk Oblast region installed servers to mine cryptocurrency. According to evidence tabled in the Irkutsk Regional Arbitration Court, Evangelical Church took advantage of the lower electricity prices and was mining crypto.

According to the Irkutskenergo Inspectors Evangelical church most likely put the server in place from May to August 2017. During this time power consumption in the region went up significantly. From the inspector’s data, the consumption was too high and was endangering power supply in the whole area.

Court Order

During this period the church was billed 1.1 million rubles which is equivalent to $16,600. The church then went ahead and paid the bill. But recently they had a change of heart and were lobbying the Irkutsk Regional Arbitration Court to order the local Utility Company to refund them. However, the court ruled in favor of the utility company. In court, the church’s trustee said the electricity was used to power heating and printing equipment. With the latter been used to copy religious materials. However, according to the data presented by the Utility Company the power consumption from the church reflects the power used by big printing firms and large temples.

Furthermore, when the Irkutskenergo inspectors visited the church, they found a server room on the second floor. Upon doing their investigations, the inspectors were convinced the room occupied by the evangelical community was indeed used for mining cryptocurrency. Moreover, the judges ruled the activities related to the case were not of religious nature, and the charged amount was fair and reasonable.

With the recent ruling from the Irkutsk Arbitration Court, many Russians who were taking advantage of the lower electricity prices might be charged higher rates. Russians who have turned their garages and basement to cryptocurrency mining centers now have to pay for the massive energy consumption. Apart from the installation of small crypto mining machines in small rooms a recent case shows Russians are ready to take more significant risks. An employee at Russia largest assembly workshop had installed a specialized crypto mining hardware in the company’s grid. From the mining machine, the employee was able to generate $18,170 which is 1.2 million rubles. The equipment was working since last November. Although the court ruled in favor of the Utility Company and leads to electricity rates going up, many Russians will turn to illegal cryptocurrency mining.