It is not uncommon for students to get crafty when they aim to mine cryptocurrencies. Some use the “free” electricity of their dorm to mine Ethereum and other altcoins. In China, one entire school seemingly had a secret Ethereum mining operation going for quite some time. Cheap electricity sparks a lot of interesting, albeit not always legitimate, business models moving forward.
Cryptocurrency Mining in China Remains Popular
No one will deny China has always been an awkward country when it comes to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The nation has maintained a trading ban on crypto-to-CNY for quite some time now. Although that caused some discrepancies in terms of Bitcoin’s price, the situation has become a thing of the past first and foremost. That ban doesn’t mean Chinese people don’t care about cryptocurrencies any longer, though.
In fact, there has been a revitalization of OTC and P2P trading in China over the past few months. Investors and speculators will bypass government restrictions to obtain either Bitcoin or altcoins whenever they see fit. Additionally, the mining of cryptocurrencies is still ongoing in China. Despite the government trying to get rid of Bitcoin mining altogether, their efforts have had an adverse effect.
One school in China, for example, has been found guilty of secretly mining Ethereum. The school has access to very cheap electricity which often goes unused. As such, the school’s principal decided to set up an Ethereum mining operation, which has been running for an undisclosed period of time. Puman Middle School has potentially generated thousands of dollars worth of Ethereum through this mining effort, albeit their exact earnings have not been disclosed at this time.
This mining operation only came to light after the school’s internal network was grinding to a halt. After an investigation by other staffers, they discovered someone had set up this Ethereum mining operation. The principal, who was all too aware of this problem, dismissed the first network complaints as “external factors beyond his control”. Even the airconditioning was blamed for the increased noise production heard throughout the building at all hours of the day.
At first, Principal Lei Hua had set up an Ethereum mining operation at home. That is how most cryptocurrency enthusiasts operate, even when mining altcoins. However, it quickly became impossible to sustain this operation due to higher electricity costs and falling Ether prices. After moving the setup to the school itself, is was expanded upon on regular intervals.
For the school, its electricity bill has increased significantly during the mining activity. Additional fees of $2,000 in the past year aroused a lot of suspicion. The profits of this mining operation are still in the hands of the now-fired principal and his Vice Principal, albeit it seems safe to assume they had to pay for any costs and damages after the operation came to light.