In Ukraine, a PlayStation 4 farm was busted, although it wasn’t mining bitcoins

In Ukraine, a PlayStation 4 farm was busted, although it wasn’t mining bitcoins

It appears that a cryptomining farm busted in Ukraine earlier this month was not actually using the PlayStation 4 consoles to mine crypto, but instead for grinding bots in FIFA to earn in-game currency. Cryptomining farms have become a menace for government officials in many countries lately, as they consume a disproportionately high amount of electricity. In many cases, the electrical power is either sourced illegally or involves shady dealings to remain operational.

A cryptomining farm raid by Ukrainian authorities revealed PlayStation 4 consoles were being used for a different type of lucrative business.

That’s not the only reason for a crackdown on cryptomining farms. A lot of countries still don’t have laws regulating the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies, let alone facilitating a whole business around generating crypto coins. Furthermore, the surge in cryptomining has also led to an unprecedented rise in the price of GPUs and led to a subsequent shortage as well, making them a lucrative business for scalpers.

As per an investigation carried out by Delo, the consoles seized as part of the raid by government authorities in Ukraine comprised of the PlayStation 4 Slim model, and not the more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro models. The investigation revealed that a lot of the consoles had a game disc in the slot, and that game was a FIFA series title developed and published by EA. The consoles were allegedly being used to grind bots in the game for generating in-game coins.

Why Were PS4s Being Used In A Mining Farm?

Initial suspicions were raised when the seized consoles turned out to be the PlayStation 4 Slim, which offers a much lower teraflop output and price-to-value ratio, making it a less than ideal solution for cryptocurrency mining. However, following the discovery of game discs, it became clear that the consoles were used for another lucrative purpose – generating in-game coins that are used for purchasing player cards among other items. These player cards are a highly sought-after item considering they are used in the popular FIFA Ultimate Team mode in which players build their own custom team of players. More importantly, these cards can be sold online, and those with popular players with high-performance stats can fetch a high price on the black market.

These player cards also happen to be quite rare with the native loot-box system, which further adds to their value. The only other way for players to acquire these cards is by playing a lot of matches to earn coins and eventually amassing enough to buy the high-value cards and build their ultimate dream time. As expected, this approach requires a lot of grinding, which in turn means a lot of time and patience. Bots, on the other hand, can be made to handle the grinding part to earn enough coins for buying player cards which can later be sold at a high price. Even EA employees have been accused of selling rare FIFA Ultimate Team player cards. Such is the popularity of Ultimate Team mode, EA earned $1.6 billion in the fiscal year 2021, most of which came from FIFA.

The News Highlights

  • In Ukraine, a PlayStation 4 farm was busted, although it wasn’t mining bitcoins
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