Tech Executive Mined 500,000 Bitcoins on QIWI Terminals in Three Months, CEO Says

Sergey Solonin, co-founder and CEO of Russian payment service provider and one of the largest crypto investors got involved in cryptocurrency in 2011 after he discovered that his CTO had been mining Bitcoins secretly on the company’s self-service terminals.

Seven years ago, the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Russian payment service provider QIWI managed to mine 500,000 Bitcoins (BTC), worth more than $5 million at the time, in just three months using the spare capacity of company terminals that were idle at nights. That’s how the co-founder of QIWI and one of the largest crypto investors, Sergey Solonin, first learned about Bitcoin and got fascinated by the idea, local outlet Rusbase reports.

“In 2011 we had over 100,000 self-service terminals. Once, the head of the security service noticed strange activity on the terminals located in the shops and department stores at night, when there were no customers. The terminals were transmitting big volumes of data, working intensively. We initiated an investigation and found out, that the company’s CTO had been secretly mining cryptocurrency with our equipment,” Solonin told the story, speaking at a lecture at Moscow Advanced Communication school.

The businessman asked the technical director to explain how he managed to do that and also to return the proceeds obtained through the use the company’s equipment, but the guy simply quitted the job and erased all log-files and configurations.

“I was amazed by the sheer amount: $5 million in three months, which was a huge amount for me at that time. We were struggling to earn pennies on these terminals and didn’t know about such a gold vein,” Solonin added.

QIWI did not suffer any losses from the illegitimate mining activity by its tech chief, however, the owners of the shops where the terminals were located probably had to pay much bigger electricity bills.

Later, Solonin tried to restore the configurations and relaunch Bitcoin mining on the terminals, but by that time the equipment could not cope with the ever-growing computation requirements.

In 2011, one Bitcoin cost between $10 and $30, well below its current value of around $8,000.

In February 2018, Solonin invested $17 million in the private pre-sale of Telegram tokens.

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