Feeds

Egghead dragged over coals for mining Bitcoin on uni supercomputer

$150k of compute power to trouser $10k in BTC

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The US National Science Foundation has suspended a researcher for using two university computers to mine Bitcoins.

In its biannual report [PDF] to the US Congress, the government agency revealed the misdoing and recommended action:

The researcher misused over $150,000 in NSF-supported computer usage at two universities to generate bitcoins valued between $8,000 and $10,000. Both universities determined that this was an unauthorized use of their IT systems. The researcher asserted that he was conducting tests on the computers, but neither university had authorized him to conduct such tests -- both university reports noted that the researcher accessed the computer systems remotely and may have taken steps to conceal his activities, including accessing one supercomputer through a mirror site in Europe.

The researcher’s access to all NSF-funded supercomputer resources was terminated. In response to our recommendation, NSF suspended the researcher government-wide.

The report – published this week – is dated March 2014, when the value of Bitcoin fell from around $660 to $460 which would indicate that about 20 Bitcoins were mined in total. The value of Bitcoin has since recovered to around the $660 mark.

The NSF describes itself thus:

The National Science foundation invests approximately $7 billion per year in a portfolio of more than 35,000 research and education projects in science and engineering, and is responsible for the establishment of an information base for science and engineering appropriate for development of national and international policy.

The fact that so much raw computing power was necessary to mine a relatively small number of Bitcoins is a reflection of how the days of using general-purpose computers, even powerful ones, to generate alt-currency are over. Bitcoin mining today needs specialist hardware.

None of which is going to help the legitimacy the Bitcoin industry is so desperately seeking, which is perhaps why so many with vested interests (OK, I’ve got three and a half) are trumpeting the comments by online tat-bazaar chief John Donahoe that eBay is planning on supporting Bitcoin. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.