A student at Harvard University secretly employed the use of the university’s 14,000-core supercomputer to mine Dogecoins without the knowledge of the staff or students who frequent the lab where it lives.
The operation lasted just under a month, before being discovered by administrators in charge of leasing time and computing power out to anyone working on research projects or attempting to solve larger computational problems for homework assignments.
Dogecoin, which has been riding the coattail popularity of the recent interest in Bitcoin, is just one of a dozen different “joke” cryptocurrencies that have sprouted up in the wake of the public’s interest in these new online payment systems.
However, unlike a majority of them, including the infamous “KanyeCoin”, which poked fun at Kanye West, Dogecoin is actually starting to gain a little traction on the web, and many investors are now looking to it as a potential contender in the next few years. When you hear about stories of people who were buying thousands of Bitcoins when they were only three quarters of a cent per pop, you start to wonder “what if I got on the next train at the same price?” That’s the opportunity Dogecoin supposedly presents, allowing those who missed the Bitcoin boom another shot at buying ridiculously low, and hopefully someday in the distant future, selling as high as possible.
“Any participation in ‘Klondike’ style digital mining operations or contests for profit requiring Harvard owned assets to examine digital currency key strength and length are strictly prohibited for fairly obvious reasons,” the email reads. In fact, any activities using our shared resources for any non scientific purpose that results or does not actually result in personal gain are also clearly and explicitly denied.”
No one is exactly sure how many coins the unnamed perpetrator was able to make off with before being caught, but with the extremely low value the currency currently sits at, it probably wouldn’t amount to more than a few hundred dollars at most.