It seems that everybody is trying to get rich quick with cryptocurrencies these days.
Many investors, particularly those with little experience, are finding out that this can be a rather risky undertaking.
However, a group of Russian scientists working for the Kremlin ran afoul of their employer by plotting to use state resources to mine cryptocurrency.
Security Risk Prompts Arrests by Russian Government
Russia has actually been exploring its own state-issued cryptocurrency. Yet, like many governments around the world, it’s also cracked down on trading and mining of existing cryptos.
Such virtual currencies are still viewed by state authorities as a way to evade taxes and launder money.
It’s worth noting that the Kremlin has been actively supporting the value of the ruble by stockpiling gold. Its gold reserves increased by more than 200 metric tons for the third year in a row in 2017, as 224 MT were added.
Russia’s official gold reserves have risen by about 1,400 tons over the last decade.
The fact that employees hired by the state would attempt to use a government facility to mine bitcoins—and think they wouldn’t be caught—is rather surprising.
Scientists at Russia’s Federal Nuclear Center, the same highly-guarded facility where the former U.S.S.R. developed its first nuclear bomb, concocted the idea of using the center’s supercomputer for their own personal gain.
It’s true that the more computing power you can allocate to the task, the faster you can “mine” for digital currencies.
However, doing so would’ve exposed one of the country’s strongest supercomputers to a potential security breach by connecting it to the internet.
The machine remains offline in order to protect it from any infiltration or hacking attempt. When the scientists in question tried to start mining, it triggered a security alert.
According to the BBC, these nuclear scientists now face criminal charges.
This stands as a prime example that even brilliant people can still make incredibly stupid mistakes!
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