Polish police HQ staffer steals electricity for crypto-mining operation

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Polish police on Friday said they had uncovered a bitcoin mining operation in their own headquarters in Warsaw.

“A civilian employee, not a police officer... attempted to steal electricity to mine bitcoin,” police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka told the TVN24 news channel.

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“Unfortunately this happened at a police site,” Ciarka said, emphasizing that at no stage did the suspect have access to police databases.

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.

The report said a second person was also about to 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 ($38,800).

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