Suspected of mining bitcoin, the PS4s in a Ukrainian hangar actually accumulated another type of virtual currency, useful only on the FIFA game.
On July 8, Ukrainian police seized what they believed to be a cryptocurrency mining farm, which presented a strange peculiarity. On the shelves were 3,800 PS4s instead of the usual machines. Surprising, but not necessarily inconsistent. Since older-generation consoles contain a graphics processor (although relatively underpowered compared to the best on the market), they can also mine bitcoin.
On July 18, Kotaku relayed a counter-investigation led by the Ukrainian site Delo. The latter spotted game discs on the images of consoles published by the authorities. The local site, which cites anonymous sources, claims that the PS4s were not used for mining bitcoin, but for mass obtaining and reselling FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) cards. If you haven’t played recent versions of the FIFA soccer game before, FUT mode is all about building a squad from random value player cards, obtained in the pack opening. These packs can be purchased with a FIFA specific currency, which itself can be obtained simply by playing.
PS4 play FIFA on repeat
The hangar operators ran parts of the game over and over on the PS4s, with the goal of generating as much of this currency as possible. Then they try to sell it for real money, with the option of selling the account or even the open FUT cards.
As Kotaku reminds us, the turnover generated by this play word is approaching, even if it remains imprecise, would amount to “ substantial portion Of the $ 1.6 billion in sales from EA Ultimate Team. Just look at the number of views under the FUT card opening videos to understand the scale of the phenomenon. This mode of operation, close to that of loot boxes, illegal in some countries, and often compared to gambling.