Employee secretly mined 500k bitcoins using company hardware and then lost them all

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July 30, 2018
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The CEO of Qiwi, a Russian e-payments firm, revealed last week on Wednesday that an ex-employee made use of its payment terminals to mine 500,000 bitcoins seven years back in 2011.

CEO Sergey Solonin told the story when he was speaking to the students at the Moscow Advanced Communications School. Qiwi is Russian payment service provider that operates online electronic payment systems in many countries.

The company has been making it easier for the Russian government to work on blockchain and launched its own blockchain subsidiary in March, last year.

Solonin told that he found out about one of his developers who had hijacked the hardware of the company for the purpose of mining bitcoins when the machines were not in use. His security chief informed him that one of the employees was using computers at night time to mine bitcoins.

He found out through further investigations that within a few months, the culprit made around $5 million dollars. This was a lot more than the profit made by the company from these machines.

Solonin then turned into a cryptocurrency investor. He recruited people who were experts in computer chips and ordered them to speed up the process of mining. The company now offers mining equipment

He stated:

“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 developer illegitimately mining the coins was asked to turn over the profit to the company. But he declined and resigned from the company. Solonin had learned his lesson and was exposed to cryptocurrency mining. So he asked the employees to continue mining. Although, the network was too difficult to be handled yet his team continued working on mining and learned a great deal. Solonin believes that this experience led him to believe in the power of Bitcoins, Cryptocurrency, and Blockchain.

While Solonin did not disclose the name of the developer but he stated that the employee lost his coins at a now-failed cryptocurrency exchange.

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