Chinese headmaster fired for coin mining
A CHINESE headmaster has been fired after teachers found that he was using the school’s computers to mine for cryptocurrency.
Lei Hua, head of Puman Middle School in China’s Hunan province, had installed eight machines in a school classroom over the past year, according to local media.
The ruse was discovered after he ran up large electricity bills and staff noticed strange noises and problems with the school’s computer network.
The headmaster lost his job after the discovery and was removed from the local branch of the Communist Party. The deputy headmaster, who was also involved, received a formal warning. The head teacher reportedly started mining for a cryptocurrency called Ethereum at his home but moved the device to school premises after discovering how much electricity it required.
Cryptocurrency mining uses computer hardware to perform calculations that result in digital coins being generated. This can be converted into normal money or retained in digital form.
Powerful coin-mining machines can generate more cryptocurrency, but become hot and noisy when operating and use large amounts of power.
As a result, Puman Middle School’s electricity bill increased dramatically as the cryptocurrency mining operation was reportedly using 14,700 yuan (£1,600) worth of electricity.
The surge in power use caused the school’s energy bill to almost double from earlier in the year.
The illicit use of corporate networks and computers to mine cryptocurrency has been a common problem in recent years.
In February, several scientists working at a nuclear research facility in Russia were arrested after using the centre’s powerful supercomputer to mine Bitcoin.