While speaking at the Moscow Advanced Communications School, Sergey Solonin, the CEO of Russian payment services provider Qiwi, has stated that an ex-employee of the company used its payment terminals to mine bitcoins in 2011. He managed to mine 500,000 bitcoins.
As was told by Solonin, one of the employees had installed the company’s mining software to be run when the machines were not in use. Over the course of a few months, the employee made roughly $5 million worth of bitcoin that year ($4 billion today). This sum is much greater than the company had seen in profit from the machines.
“Most of all, I was amazed by the amount: in three months he has managed to mine 500 thousand coins, which then cost $5 million. And now it’s billions of dollars.”
“I thought ‘what a crazy stuff,’ we’re struggling to earn 3 cents on those terminals and such a gold mine is actually hidden here.”
The employee whose name remains unknown quit the company after being asked to hand over the money, as it was generated by company property.
Qiwi attempted to continue mining, but the network difficulty had become too great for Qiwi’s hardware to handle, and the computing power of the terminals was already insufficient to compete with the other Bitcoin miners.
Solonin believes that the employee eventually lost all the coins at a now-failed cryptocurrency exchange.
Qiwi is Russia-based payment service provider that operates electronic online payment systems primarily in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Belarus, Romania, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. In March 2017, the company launched a new subsidiary focusing on blockchain development and consulting. In July of this year, the company launched the country’s first crypto investment bank named HASH with the aim to advise investors and other domestic companies in Russia once appropriate regulations and policies are brought in place.
As for regulations, Russian lawmakers are looking to pass the bill on cryptocurrencies during the autumn session of the Duma. As the Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets Anatoly Aksakov said, separate tax frameworks solely for cryptocurrency will not be drawn up, and Russian crypto miners and holders will be regulated under the Internal Revenue Code.