Amongst rocket launchers, grenades and bullets, Venezuelan authorities additionally seized an unlikely expertise from criminals throughout a jail raid this week: Bitcoin mining machines.
In an operation to crack the South American nation’s strongest organized crime group Wednesday, 11,000 troops had been used to raid the Tocorón jail in Aragua state, according to an official authorities assertion.
Weapons had been discovered within the mission however authorities additionally grabbed Bitcoin miners, AFP reported Thursday. Movies posted on Twitter confirmed a constructing stuffed with the machines.
Inside and Justice Minister Remigio Ceballos was quoted by the information company saying that it was a “profitable operation that allowed us to strike a blow towards prison teams.”
The jail—which had been run by criminals for years— included services like a swimming pool and a mini zoo. Venezuelan prisons are notoriously overcrowded and dangerous.
Wednesday’s operation was the primary time Venezuelan authorities have focused the dreaded Tren de Aragua, which is concerned in all the things from drug and human trafficking to extortion in its residence nation and others within the area.
Mining machines are used to mint new cash and hold the Bitcoin blockchain safe.
These concerned within the vitality intensive course of want to make use of loads of electrical energy however are rewarded with new cryptocurrency, and the endeavor may be fairly profitable. A report from Coin Metrics earlier this yr showed that Bitcoin miners collectively earned $184 million from transaction charges in simply April via June.
Wednesday’s raid isn’t the primary time criminals in Latin America have been caught apparently eager to mint cryptocurrency: the discover comes simply two weeks after Chilean cops found a drug trafficking ring in Santiago had a Bitcoin mining operation up and working.