Despite the huge downward spiral of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies during the past couple of weeks, a few Russian nuclear scientists apparently remained completely un-phased, actually daring to jeopardize their careers along with state nuclear secrets in order to mine Bitcoin with a secret government computer.
According to the Russian news agency, Interfax, Russian authorities arrested the two scientists for allegedly connecting the computer to the internet and using it for personal agendas that included mining for cryptocurrencies. The BBC explained that the computer is not supposed to be used online, so officials quickly realized something was not right.
It is rather extreme to use a government supercomputer to mine for virtual money, but it takes a lot of electricity, time and energy to mine for Bitcoin, and it can result in a large money making opportunity. Mining for digital currency requires huge amounts of computing power to work. In fact, a single transaction actually uses the same amount of energy as a regular American household uses in a week.
In order to mine for cryptocurrency, people have to verify transactions by figuring out extremely difficult math equations. Once they solve a math problem, they are gifted with a digital coin. This is why the Russian scientists were trying to utilize the supercomputer that was originally developed to create nuclear weapons. The machine was capable of performing complicated math tasks more easily.
This top-secret Russian research facility, located in Sarov, which is where the scientists were caught, is surrounded by barbed wire, and was removed from Soviet maps in the past, known only by its codename: Arzamas-16. The town has restricted access, due to security reasons.
Across the globe, people are trying to find ways to get their hands on digital currency via mining, while there is still virtual money to be mined. On many college campuses, students are mining with computers in their dorm rooms, taking advantage of the electricity provided by their university. And there is always a threat of hackers trying to use other people’s computers to mine for currency too. This is why it is important to keep your computer secure and perform regular scans to make sure everything is okay with it.