For anyone who’s ever thought about making some extra money by mining bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, this might give you pause. The world of cryptocurrency is unregulated, but that doesn’t mean it’s not subject to the same rules as any other industry. In fact, in Massachusetts at least one man has been arrested after he was caught running a bitcoin mining operation on school grounds using equipment that had been hidden inside a crawl space. So what happened exactly? Here’s everything you need to know about why this was illegal and why you should be careful if you want to try your hand at making some cash through bitcoin mining:
A Massachusetts man has been charged after authorities discovered a cryptocurrency mining rig hidden in the crawl space of a local school
In a nutshell, bitcoin mining is the process of using your computer to solve complex math problems in order to win cryptocurrency.
There are two ways you can mine cryptocurrency: You can set up a rig at home or you can rent some space on someone else’s server farm (a “cloud mining” service). Either way, the basic idea is that your computer solves increasingly difficult equations until it finds an answer that results in new coins being minted–and then those coins get sent directly to you.
You might be wondering why anyone would want their computers working around the clock just so they can make some money off their spare processing power–and honestly, who wouldn’t? But there are several reasons why people choose this route over traditional jobs:
- They’re bored with their 9-to-5s and looking for something more adventurous;
- They think Bitcoin will become mainstream soon and want early access before everyone else;
- They’re hoping it’ll become so popular that they’ll make all kinds of money off their investment.
The school had been experiencing blackouts and surges in the power supply, but it wasn’t until the IT department began investigating that they discovered what was causing it — an unplugged mining rig
The mining rig was hidden in the crawl space of one of the school’s buildings. The culprit has been charged with breaking and entering as well as larceny from a building or other property. The man behind the operation was 39-year-old Nadeam Nahas, who works as a custodian at another school in Massachusetts. Nadeam Nahas, a 39-year-old custodian at another school in Massachusetts, was arrested after police raided his home and found more than $60,000 worth of bitcoin mining equipment. Nahas has been charged with larceny and possession of stolen property. He is currently being held on $5,000 bail at the Middlesex County House of Correction in Billerica.
Nahas’ lawyer says that his client is innocent, claiming that he didn’t know how to access the school’s Wi-Fi and that he had not planned on using the crawl space to mine bitcoin. His lawyer says that his client is innocent, claiming that he didn’t know how to access the school’s Wi-Fi and that he had not planned on using the crawl space to mine bitcoin. “He doesn’t know how to do it,” Benson’s defense attorney told the court. “He has no expertise in computers or anything like that.”
Bitcoin mining is the process of solving complex mathematical problems to produce new bitcoins. The cryptocurrency can be exchanged for goods and services (like cash), or it can be held as an investment. Bitcoin mining requires large amounts of electricity to run specialized computers that perform the calculations necessary to mine new coins.
The Massachusetts man allegedly hid his rig in a crawl space under a school building where he worked as an engineer at night while everyone else was gone–but he didn’t count on being caught by police during one of their regular sweeps through the building after hours looking for illegal activity.
Nahas is facing charges of computer criminal activity, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of a controlled substance. The judge in his case has ordered him held without bail until his next court appearance.