Cryptocurrency mining may sound cool, but it can get you in trouble. According to a recent report, a Galveston Independent School District employee was fired for mining and installing cryptocurrency mining devices in six different schools.
Crypto mining is the process by which bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, generate new coins, verify and add new transactions to blockchains under the proof-of-work system. Miners in the proof-of-work system compete to solve problems and are rewarded with some of the native currency or a portion of the transaction fee for each problem solved.
A suspected former district employee of Galveston Independent School District was recently fired for mining and installing cryptocurrency mining devices in six different schools buildings in the district. The School District terminated the unnamed employee after IT staff discovered the crypto rigs.
Graviton officials stated that the installed rigs were discovered when district IT employees noticed anomalies in network traffic, which led the district’s information technology staff to find the devices sold by Bobcat.
Bobcat is a globally integrated IoT product and service provider dedicated to facilitating the growth and adoption of a global decentralized blockchain community network through high-quality software, hardware, and services. Bobcat products, such as Wi-Fi hotspots, are designed to mine a digital token called HNT, which can be exchanged for currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. HNT, like other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is generated through digital mining, a process that can consume a significant amount of energy.
The devices were believed to have been installed during a long week break in March during spring break before they were discovered on April 8, 2022,
President Tony Brown of the Galveston Independent School District publicly thanked the district’s information technology department on Wednesday, April 14, for uncovering the cryptocurrency-mining operation that was taking place at six different schools in the district.
Is this the first occurrence of something like this?
No, several incidents have occurred in recent years across the country in which employees have been fired or even arrested for illegally setting up mining operations at their workplaces. Examples include a school headmaster fired for using the school’s electricity to mine cryptocurrencies in China and a New York City Education Department employee who was caught mining Bitcoin at work.
Is there a negative impact of digital mining on the environment?
Yes, it is well known that digital mining emits a significant amount of carbon dioxide and other gases into the environment. Bitcoin is at the top of the list of blockchains with the highest carbon footprint. We recently covered an article on a method discovered by experts to reduce bitcoin’s carbon footprint, which you can read here.