The cryptocurrency craze is present all over the world and not once we’ve heard about people mining coins in the of the most unexpected places. Take Australia, for example, where two Bureau of Meteorology employees are currently investigated by police, after being caught mining cryptocurrency on their computers at work.
According to The Guardian, citing a report from ABC, the Australian federal police interrogated the IT workers at the bureau’s headquarters in Melbourne on February 28. A search warrant was also executed at business premises in Docklands, during the same day, but no other details were given by the Australian federal police since the investigation is currently ongoing.
Should they expect some serious charges?
Until now, no charges have been laid, but we expect news about this soon, as the investigation will develop.
Obviously, mining cryptocurrency is not illegal, but let’s not forget that we’re talking about using the Bureau of Meteorology’s computer to carry out this process is actually an illegal use of government resources.
Besides this, let’s not forget that mining implies significant amounts of electricity being used, which would automatically attract some high bills.
“One possibility is that they’re trying to use some of the equipment that the Bureau of Meteorology has. The Bureau of Meteorology has some very fast computers. Another possibility, though, is that they’re just trying to get the Bureau of Meteorology to pay for the electricity. Mining is a very electricity-intensive task and they probably didn’t want to pay for it themselves,” said Dr. Chris Berg, from RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub.
Was the mined amount so big?
The Bureau was contacted regarding this issue, but refused to answer any questions about this, claiming that they can’t interfere in an ongoing investigation.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are created by computers that solve complicated mathematical formulas, in a process known as “mining”. Over the time, the equations become more complicated to solve, so miners require more computational power. Currently, one Bitcoin is worth $9,356.55, but, as proven over the past months, the prices are extremely volatile.