Chinese headmaster sacked after using school's power to mine crypto

Irving Hamilton
November 10, 2018

Lei Hua, principal of the Puman Middle School in Chenzhou in the Hunan province had been stealing electricity to power his eight ethereum mining machines, South China Morning Post reports.

Local media reports that Lei Hua, the head of Puman Middle School in China's Hunan Province, installed eight machines in a school classroom over the a year ago.

This led to the discovery of the machines, which were mining the crypto-currency Ethereum. The operation resulted in the school getting hit with a 14,700 yuan ($2,100/£1,600/AU$2,900) electricity bill.

The excessive electricity consumption had previously been reported to the headmaster, Lei Hua, but he reportedly dismissed it as being caused by air conditioners and heating devices.

The two officials were able to run the covert mining setup within the school for several months before a group of teachers complained of noise and heat, as well as noting that the school's network was had slowed down significantly.

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The deputy headmaster also became involved in the scheme and allegedly acquired a ninth machine for himself in January, which was also installed at the school.

Thus, Hua set up and expanded the mining operation inside one of the school's dorms with Zhipeng's blessing - the vice principal would also eventually purchase his own mining hardware to add to the operation.

According to the report, Lei was sacked in October while his deputy got off with a slap on the wrists. A local authority responsible for "discipline inspection" has seized the money that was made through the mining operation, but the amount was not specified.

This isn't the first case of malicious mining operations in China.

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