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Bitcoin Crime Government Supercomputing

NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin 220

PvtVoid (1252388) writes "In the semiannual report to Congress by the NSF Office of Inspector General, the organization said it received reports of a researcher who was using NSF-funded supercomputers at two universities to mine Bitcoin. The computationally intensive mining took up about $150,000 worth of NSF-supported computer use at the two universities to generate bitcoins worth about $8,000 to $10,000, according to the report. It did not name the researcher or the universities."
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NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @10:19PM (#47199859)

    well, most likely the computers werent being used for anything else at the time. he was probably only running it in spare time.

    Using close to 100% of processing resources would definitely increase overall power consumption for the computers in question. This would result in increased overall cost of operation.

  • by MiniMike ( 234881 ) on Monday June 09, 2014 @10:26PM (#47199895)

    Many of those systems have no (or minimal) idle time. Also, this misuse caused them to consume more power, and increased the wear on the systems components. There was a real impact from this. The $150k indicates a lot of cpu time was consumed for this, but TFA doesn't indicate how much- certainly more than would have been 'spare time'.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @10:45PM (#47199995)

    Where is it written that a "supercomputer" must be efficient and cheap to run?

    FWIW, at this point, any "general use" computer is not efficient to mine bitcoin - it only makes sense to use custom-designed ASICs. Unless you get free power, then use as many CPUs and GPUs as you want, but even the cost of the hardware components is going to be pricey compared to your return.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes