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May 25, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Pirate MP Caught Mining Cryptocurrency In Chamber Flat

By ČTK Cryptocurrency mining rig

Prague, May 25 (CTK) – Czech Pirate MP Tomas Vymazal was running a strange business in his official flat at the Chamber of Deputies’ facility in the Prague centre where he installed a high-performance computer to mine cryptocurrency, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes today.

 

Vymazal’ activity was revealed because of high electricity bills that the Chamber of Deputies had to cover for him. Afterwards, he promised to send both his earning from the virtual currency and the money for electricity to charity.

 

Later today, the Pirates announced that Vymazal mined cryptocurrency in the flat for three weeks, thereby raising the energy costs by 1,120 crowns.

 

He has covered the sum to the Chamber of Deputies already, the party wrote. Furthermore, Vymazal has decided to donate the proceeds from his cryptocurrency business in the official flat, 4,434 crowns, to a canteen employing homeless women as cooks, the Pirates wrote on Facebook.

 

The Pirate deputies’ group held a special meeting today to discuss Vymazal’s case.

 

“I apologise for my behaviour and I am pledging not to repeat such a mistake,” Vymazal wrote.

 

He wrote that he had mined the zcash cryptocurrency. He mined a total of 0.23 zcash in the official flat.

 

“Zcash’s theoretically highest exchange rate today is 876,31 USD. For 0.23 zcash, this means the highest possible proceeds worth 4,434 crowns,” he wrote, adding that he is going to donate the sum to the above canteen that does a lot for women in a difficult situation.

 

The cryptocurrency mining is based on verifying the genuineness of a part of the ciphered recording of the movement of virtual currency for which the users gain rewards that can be sold for money. They use special “miners” or sets of graphic units with a a high power input that produce a lot of warmth.

 

LN writes that Vymazal had problems with high electricity bills for the same reason at home in Brno as well. However, in his MP’s flat in Nerudova street in the Lesser Town of Prague, which he gained after being elected to the Chamber of Deputies last autumn, the bills were covered by the lower house.

 

In his property statement that is freely available online, Vymazal admitted a debt of over 22,000 crowns for electricity caused by the operation od graphic cards. He also states he owns three types of cryptocurrency – bitcoin, cardano and zcash.

 

He was mining the last one in his official flat in Prague where he moved his “miner” high-performance computer from Brno.

 

Last December, the Chamber of Deputies Office expressed surprise at high electricity bills in the part of the block of flats where Pirate MPs live.

 

Vymazal explained this in a quite original way first, saying he was cold in the flat and this is why he used the computer for heating.

 

Later, he said he would cover the electricity bills by donating the money as well as his income from the cryptocurrency mining of several hundred crowns for charity purposes.

 

He said he did not know how much the Chamber of Deputies had to pay for his electricity bills, but he put it at up to 1500 crowns only.

 

The Pirate deputy group learnt about “Vymazal’s hobby” at the beginning of this year, but tried to keep it secret and solved it within the group.

 

“Tomas Vymazal was rebuked for his completely inappropriate behaviour and we redressed the situation immediately,” Pirate chairman Ivan Bartos said.

 

Pirate deputy group head Jakub Michalek said he cannot see a reason for returning to this case after almost half a year since Vymazal would cover the damage. Michalek also dismissed that this can be qualified as abuse of MP’s financial perks.

 

It would be more beneficial to Czech politics if PM and ANO chairman “Andrej Babis returned the 50-million-crown EU subsidy for the Capi hnizdo” farm and conference centre, Michalek said, hinting at the case of an EU subsidy fraud for which Babis is criminally prosecuted.

 

The Pirates entered the Chamber of Deputies for the first time in history in the last October general election in which they fared third gaining almost 11 percent of the vote and 22 MPs in the 200-seat lower house.

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