October 20, 2020

Australian avoids jail for mining cryptocurrencies on supercomputers

Jonathan Khu installed Ethereum mining software on computing hardware at a government institute in Australia. The damage from this amounted to more than $ 50 thousand, but the court appointed only correctional labor as a punishment.

Australian resident escaped prison forillegal cryptocurrency mining. Jonathan Khu, 34, worked as a contractor for the State Alliance for Scientific and Applied Research (CSIRO). In 2018, he implemented a program to mine Ethereum and Monero into local supercomputers. This is a special equipment that the institute uses for highly complex calculations, according to the local edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.

In total, Khu earned from mining cryptocurrency forsomeone else's account is about $ 7000. At the same time, the amount of damage from the use of the Institute's technology, according to CSIRO estimates, amounted to more than $ 55,000. Australian legislation for this type of crime provides for up to 10 years in prison. Today, however, a court imposed a sentence of 300 hours of correctional labor, ruling that Khu's actions reduced the efficiency of computing equipment, thereby damaging the organization.

Supercomputers are considered one of the potentialthreats to the cryptocurrency industry. For example, in November 2019, the scientific director of the Center for Quantum Technologies, Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov Sergei Kulik said that the emergence of quantum supercomputers will become a serious threat to the digital asset market. The computing power of such machines may be sufficient to decrypt the cryptographic function of the blockchain.

But not everyone shares this opinion. In October, Forbes published an article also foreshadowing the destruction of Bitcoin after the Google supercomputer, but a number of experts were skeptical about this. For example, former Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd noted that the breakthrough in quantum computing is at a low level.