In February 2018, three scientists at a top-secret Russian nuclear lab were caught mining Bitcoin on government supercomputers. The lab where the scientists work is where the first Soviet nuclear bombs were created, and has some of the most powerful supercomputers in all of Russia.

Specifically, the supercomputer illegally used for Bitcoin mining could perform 1 trillion operations per second, although it is unknown what hash rate this is equivalent to.

Aside from the illegal use of government property, Bitcoin mining is highly energy intensive and it would be equivalent to stealing for the scientists involved in this scheme to not pay for the electricity that the supercomputer consumed while mining Bitcoin.

One of the three scientists caught in this illegal Bitcoin mining scheme has been fined RUB 450,000, equivalent to USD 7,000. The other two scientists are still awaiting sentencing.

It is speculated that the scientists made far more money mining Bitcoin than the USD 7,000 fine. That being said, it remains to be seen how much the other two scientists will be fined. is committed to unbiased news and upholding journalistic codes of ethics. For more information please read our Editorial Policy here.

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