Ukrainian police have seized a total of 3800 PS4s along with various pieces of electronics and documents that were being used to farm FIFA Ultimate Team accounts to be sold on the black market. Though there were also 500 video cards and 50 processors, police initially reported that the operation was a cryptocurrency mining farm. A nearby company discovered the operation housed in one of its former warehouses after they found it was stealing electricity from the premises.
Ukrainian business newspaper Delo investigated the matter and found that the operation was using PCs controlling PS4 Slims in order to farm in-game currency. Players usually earn these FUT coins by playing the game and use them to bid on in-game auction houses for rare player cards. After loading up the FIFA accounts with coins through botting, the operation would then sell these coins off on the black market in exchange for cash.
While publisher EA has stated that it would ban any accounts that it finds buying or selling these coins, the black market for these FUT coins is still a rather large and lucrative business. Just a few months ago, reports surfaced of an employee at EA allegedly selling rare FIFA Ultimate Team cards for personal profit at prices upwards of $1000.
According to the Ukrainian police, the operation is currently the “largest underground crypto-farm discovered by Ukrainian law enforcement,” ironically not even being a crypto-farm at all, at least in the traditional sense (unless we’re now considering FUT Coins to be cryptocurrency). In addition to the PS4 Slims, the operation also included over 500 video cards and 50 processors, which are typically used for cryptocurrency farming, and may indicate an additional crypto-farm of some kind on the side of the FUT business. However, it’s unlikely that the PS4s were used to farm cryptocurrency as they are apparently notoriously inefficient at doing so. Photos uploaded by the police also show rows upon rows of the console with the FIFA CDs sticking out of the ports.