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Secret cryptocurrency mining gets Chinese principal fired

Teachers reportedly had been suspicious about a whirring noise going on all day and night.

Cryptocurrency 2018

A school Ethereum-mining operation got a principal in trouble in China, according to reports.

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A Chinese principal lost his job after hidden cryptocurrency mining machines were found sucking up his school's electricity.

The Ethereum-mining devices were discovered after teachers at the school in southeastern Hunan province got suspicious about a whirring noise they were hearing all day and night, the BBC reported Friday, citing local media.

Cryptocurrency mining becomes more lucrative as you add computational power, but that sucks up a lot of power. The operation resulted in the school getting hit with a 14,700 yuan ($2,100/£1,600/AU$2,900) electricity bill.

Lei Hua, the principal, allegedly installed eight mining machines in his school's computer room between the summers of 2017 and 2018. He also apparently brought his vice principal in on the scheme, and a ninth machine was added in January.

This reportedly overloaded the school's computer network and "interfered" with teaching, resulting Lei's firing in October, an official warning for the vice principal and seizure of the profits of the operation by local authorities.

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Back in March, a pair of Australian Bureau of Meteorology employees got in trouble over allegedly using government computers to mine cryptocurrency.

Apple and Google banned cryptocurrency mining on their devices over the summer.

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