Today I am going to share a very interesting crypto mining story from Russia. You probably know that it takes a lot of electricity and computing power to mine bitcoins. You actually need to solve very complex problems in order to earn some bitcoins. While doing this you are verifying the transactions made in bitcoins and keep things going for bitcoin users. If you have an average computer in your basement, you won’t be able to make much money mining bitcoins. But if you have a super computer that can do trillions of calculations in a second, things are different.
A group of Russian engineers who have access to a super computer at the Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov had the brilliant idea of using this computer for bitcoin mining. Well, they almost got away with it.
Obviously they knew that a supercomputer could make 1,000 trillion operations per second, but they did not know that this miracle technique could not be connected to the Internet for security reasons. They got caught when they tried to connect this super computer to the internet. It is presumed that the supercomputer is unauthorized access to the Internet due to various external influences and the possibility of attacking confidential information.
Against these engineers a criminal proceeding was initiated and they were handed over to the FSB (Federal Security Service of Russia).
According to the BBC, a Russian businessman bought two nuclear power plants, only for the purpose of digging bitcoins, so this attempt to dig bitcoin at the Sarov nuclear plant is not unique.
A few readers on Reddit tried to estimate how much money these Russian scientists could have made. “I can’t find the exact specs on that computer but based on its age and floating point performance it would get around 500-1000kh/s Cryptonight, or around $1000 a day” said one commenter.
“That’s good but not worth the risk/reward IMO. $1000 a day on a supercomputer seems low” said a second commenter.
“Yes. It’s about a 100-250 million to buy one. Then you have about 7-10 million for electricity. And more for maintenance (no idea how much). So $365’000 per year is absolutely not worth it. You can’t even pay the electricity bill with that,” a third commenter responded.
Finally a fourth commenter with Russia ties chimed in: “I’m not sure what the wages of Russian nuclear scientists are, but $1000 a day is probably a ton in Russia. I’m from Russia and I was surprised to see my aunts and uncles working for $200-$400 a month. The wage gap in Russia is ridiculous. Crazy to think that Putin is worth hundreds of billions.”
We aren’t sure whether Putin is worth hundreds of billions but $1000/day isn’t a bad if you get the Russian government pay for the electricity bill mining bitcoins.