Russian Scientists Arrested for Crypto Mining at Nuclear Lab

Several scientists working at a Russian nuclear weapons research facility have been arrested for mining cryptocurrencies at the site.

AccessTimeIconFeb 9, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:33 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Reports suggested that several scientists working at a Russian nuclear weapons research facility have been arrested for mining cryptocurrencies at the site.

Reports from Interfax and the BBC indicate that the unnamed scientists have been handed over to the Federal Security Service (FSB) following the discovery.

"There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining," a representative from the Scientific Research Institute for Experimental Physics was quoted as saying.

The scientists reportedly used a supercomputer at the facility to carry out the mining, which is an energy-intensive process by which new transactions are added to a blockchain (while minting new coins in the process as a reward). The research center's security department received an alert that the machine had been connected to the internet (for security reasons, according to the sources, such computers are normally kept offline.)

Interfax added that the scientists are likely to face criminal charges in the wake of their arrests.

Founded in 1947, the Institute is famous for being the site at which the former Soviet Union produced its first nuclear bomb.

Russian nuclear bomb via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.