School Head Sacked For Cryptocurrency Theft

Story By: Gabriel Zamfir, Sub-Editor: Francis George, Agency: AsiaWire Report


A headmaster has been sacked after racking up a massive electricity bill while mining cryptocurrencies at work.

The incident took place at the Puman Middle School in the city of Chenzhou in the south-eastern Chinese province of Hunan.

According to local media, headmaster Lei Hua started mining the cryptocurrency Ethereum in June last year.

Many cryptocurrencies require high-powered machines that use huge amounts of electricity and create excess heat.

Hua reportedly spent over 10,000 RMB (1,105 GBP) on equipment but discovered that he could not pay the huge power bills.

The headmaster reportedly moved the operation to a school dormitory to take advantage of the school’s free electricity and internet connection.

He then bought seven more high-powered computers and set them up in the electronics laboratory.

In the lab, Hua’s operation racked up a power bill of 14,714 RMB(1,626 GBP) in the first 12 months, according to reports.

His deputy, Wang Zhipeng, also got in on the act and brought in his own machine with the headmaster’s approval, which was set up in the physics department where it generated a 2,444 RMB (270 GBP) bill.

In total, nine high-powered machines were running 24 hours a day and were putting an enormous strain on the school’s broadband and infrastructure.

The pair was rumbled when teachers complained about the computers’ noise and slow internet connection, and then noticed the sky-high bills.

According to local media, Hua was fired from his post while Zhipeng was given a warning.

Authorities also confiscated the pair’s profits although it was not revealed.