Bitcoin: Nuclear scientist caught mining cryptocurrency in top-secret Russia laboratory | The independent one

According to local reports, a nuclear scientist was fined 450,000 rubles (£ 6,000) for illegally mining bitcoin at a top-secret facility in Russia.

Denis Baykov was one of three scientists in a nuclear laboratory in Sarov – a closed Russian city 400 kilometers from Moscow – who were arrested after allegedly using an ultra-powerful supercomputer to mine the cryptocurrency.

The other two employees are currently awaiting their conviction, the Moscow Times reported, citing the state news agency RIA Novosti.

Bitcoin mining requires tremendous computing power from the computer to solve the complex math problems required to generate new units of cryptocurrency.

The supercomputer used by the scientists has a petaflop computing power and can therefore perform up to 1,000 trillion computing operations per second.

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

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1/ 10Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

Satoshi Nakamoto created the first Bitcoin block in 2009

On January 3, 2009, Bitcoin’s Genesis block appeared. It came less than a year after pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”.

Reuters

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

Bitcoin is used as a currency for the first time

The first real Bitcoin transaction took place on May 22, 2010. Lazlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins – the equivalent of 90 million dollars at today’s prices

Lazlo Hanyecz

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

Silk Road opens for business

Bitcoin soon gained notoriety for its use on the dark web. Founded in 2011, the Silk Road marketplace was the first of hundreds of websites offering illegal drugs and services in exchange for Bitcoin

Screenshot

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

The first Bitcoin ATM appears

On October 29, 2013, the first Bitcoin ATM was installed in a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The machine enabled people to exchange bitcoins for cash

Reuters

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

The case of MtGox

The world’s largest bitcoin exchange, MtGox, filed for bankruptcy in February 2014 after losing almost 750,000 of its customers’ bitcoins. That was around 7 percent of all Bitcoins at the time and the market inevitably collapsed

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Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

Would the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up

In 2015, Australian police raided Craig Wright’s home after the entrepreneur claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He later withdrew the claim

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Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

Bitcoin’s big split

On August 1, 2017, an insoluble dispute within the Bitcoin community caused the network to split. The fork of Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology has spawned a new cryptocurrency: Bitcoin Cash

Reuters

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

The price sky of Bitcoin is skyrocketing

Towards the end of 2017, Bitcoin price soared to nearly $ 20,000. This corresponds to an increase of 1,300 percent compared to the price at the beginning of the year

Reuters

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

What’s going up …

The Bitcoin price crashes spectacularly and loses half of its value within a few days

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Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

Bitcoin crashes

The cryptocurrency eventually bottomed below $ 4,000 in 2019 before slowly regaining momentum to outperform more traditional assets

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It is not clear how many bitcoins the scientists were able to mine before they were caught, although one of the defendant’s lawyers said they used special software to avoid being detected.

“One thing I can say for sure: you weren’t arrested the first day you started the mine,” he said.

“They regret what they did, but I think they did it out of a professional interest, not a profit.”

It is not the first time that supercomputers have been illegally hijacked to mine cryptocurrencies.

In 2014, a Harvard student used one of the university’s supercomputers to mine Dogecoin, while that year a National Science Foundation researcher also misused US government equipment to mine Bitcoin.

Nuclear scientists were also arrested in Ukraine earlier this year after allegedly using computers to mine cryptocurrencies.

The Ukraine Security Service alleged that the scientists compromised the secret location of the laboratory by connecting the computers to the Internet.

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