The CEO of a Russian payment services firm has claimed that an ex-employee used the company’s terminals to mine 500,000 bitcoins in 2011.

Sergey Solonin, CEO of Qiwi, reportedly made the revelation while addressing students at the Moscow Advanced Communications School last week.

During his lecture, Solonin said a former programmer at Qiwi had hijacked the company's hardware to mine bitcoins when the machines were not in use.

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The 500,000 bitcoins were worth around $5 million that year and approximately $4 billion today.

Media reports indicate that Qiwi was able to detect the former employee’s mining operation after noticing the increased electricity usage by the terminals during the night.

After being discovered, the programmer refused to return his profits and resigned from the business.

According to a report from Russian news website Meduza, the unnamed programmer has since lost the mined bitcoins.

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