One of three scientists caught illegally bitcoin mining at a Russian nuclear lab has been fined 450,000 rubles, or $7,000.
Located in Sarov, Russia, the top-secret lab was where the first Soviet nuclear bombs were manufactured in the late 1940s. It remains home to some of Russia’s most powerful computers.
The mining trio was first exposed last February and promptly handed over to the Federal Security Service.
Using the proof-of-work consensus mechanism, bitcoin harnesses miners to record transactions and secure the the blockchain with powerful energy-intensive computers. Mining power is measured in hashes per second.
According to today's report, Baykov, along with the two other lab employees, used specially designed software to mask mining on the lab's computer, which can conduct transactions up to 1,000 trillion operations per second, or one petaflop. Hashes per second do not translate into operations per second, however.
With the price of bitcoin sitting around $8,000 per coin, one of the three employee's lawyers, Alexei Kovalyov, hinted at the fine being very small compared to the probable payoff:
Court verdicts for the other two scientists have not yet been reached.
Nuclear Power Plant image via Shutterstock
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