Two principals in China have been caught mining Ethereum using school electricity

Both have since been punished, according to reports.

A principal and vice-principal at a middle school in Hunan, China have been sacked for using school rooms and electricity to mine Ethereum.

As reported by HK01 (and translated by Crowdfund Insider), Lei Hua – Principal of the Puman Middle School in Chenzhou, Hunan allegedly began his crypto-mining career after his cousin told him about the financial rewards he could reap, and sold him a dedicated mining machine for 10,000 yuan.

Lei and his wife then bought six more machines to maximise output, and set them to work around the clock in the school’s computer classroom.

According to HK01 (and translated by Crowdfund Insider), the miners consumed around 14,714 yuan’s worth of the school’s energy between June and November last year. That’s around £1,600.

Vice-principal Wang Zhipeng reportedly joined the principal’s mining exploits last December and set up two machines in the school’s physics lab. They too were purchased from Lei’s cousin.

The 24-hour whirring had been receiving noise complaints from resident teaching staff, but was put down to an overuse of school air conditioning and heaters.

When the racket persisted over school breaks, however, the exasperated teachers investigated the issue and discovered the nine machines before reporting them to authorities.

Principal Lei has since been fired, while Zhipeng has received an official warning. The duo’s earnings have also been seized.

Earlier this year, two nuclear engineers were caught using a supercomputer to mine Bitcoins at a power plant in Sarov, Russia. Incidentally, they got found out before the cash started rolling in, after the facility’s security service alerted the pair’s connection to the Internet to the FSB.