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Two Principals in China Caught Mining Ethereum at Local Middle School

Two middle school principals in China have been caught and punished by using the school’s electricity to mine Ethereum for over the course of several months, local media outlet The Paper reported on November 7.

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Employees at Puman Middle school in Hunan Province had been bothered by an awful lot of around-the-clock noise from computers over recent months, even during the holidays. The schools’ IT network also significantly slowed, making it hard for teachers to do normal job, while the electric bills had skyrocketed since July 2017.

When the schools’ director of general affairs reported the abnormal situation to the principal, Lei Hua, Lei blamed the the energy usage spike on the excess use of school air conditioning and heating units.

But the frustrated teachers finally found that 7 high-power mining rigs were working around the clock in one of the school’s vacant classrooms and the principal was the owner of these machines.

The report indicates that Lei had initially only one mining machine which cost him 10,000 yuan at his home, but the high electricity consumption depressed him. Therefore the principle bought another 7 mining rigs from July 2017 to June 2018 and installed them in a classroom, using the school network and electricity for free to mine Ethereum for personal gain.

In addition, the deputy principal of the school, Wang Zhipeng who worked in the same office with Let, also invested in a mining rig and set up it in the school’s laboratory.

In total, these nine mining machines consumed an estimated 14, 714 yuan of the school’s electricity.

As a punishment, the principal, Lei Hua, as been removed from his post at the school, as well as within the Communist Party, while the vice principal,Wang Zhinpeng, has been given a warming.And the money involved has been collected by the local Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Lured by the prospect of making quick profit from crypto mining, some low-paid persons in China even steal electricity to mine cryptos. According to TechNode, a Chinese man has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined 100,000 yuan after pleading guilty to stealing electricity from the country’s train network to power his bitcoin mining activities.

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