Nuclear Scientists Arrested in Russia for ‘Bitcoin Mining Plot’

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Russian security officers have arrested several scientists working at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility for allegedly mining crypto-currencies.

The suspects had tried to use one of Russia’s most powerful supercomputers to mine Bitcoins, local media reports say.

The Federal Nuclear Centre in Sarov, western Russia, is a restricted area.

The centre’s press service said:

“There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining.”

The supercomputer was not supposed to be connected to the internet – to prevent intrusion – and once the scientists attempted to do so, the nuclear centre’s security department was alerted. They were handed over to the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Russian news service Mash says.

“As far as we are aware, a criminal case has been launched against them,” the press service told Interfax news agency.

Last month, Russia’s ministry of finance has published a bill on digital assets regulation which defines cryptocurrencies, tokens, mining, and ICO’s.

The bill states that cryptocurrency mining is an entrepreneurship activity, while cryptocurrencies and tokens represent a digital financial asset, and smart contracts are a kind of electronic contract.

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