Beijing (PingWest)- A Baidu engineer has been sentenced to three years in prison after using 200 of the company’s servers to mine cryptocurrency, making a profit of CNY100,000 after mining bitcoins for four months.
An Bang, a 31-year old Baidu senior engineer who joined the company’s search operations and maintenance department, installed crypto mining scripts- a mining system that instruct servers to mine cryptocurrency- on 200 of Baidu’s servers between April and July 2018, allowing him to use the company’s computing power to freely mine cryptocurrency including Bitcoins and Monero.
Baidu called the police after it noticed unusual activity on a large number of servers. An was charged for illegally taking control of a computer system, and he was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 11,000 yuan, according to the court document.
By cyptocurrency mining, person can earn cyptocurrency without having to purchase cyptocurrency especially Bitcoin for a large amount of money.
Mining is a process of verifying transactions on a blockchain that can enable miners receive bitcoin as a reward, but mining is computationally and power-intensive that cause high electricity usage. The large amount of world’s cryptocurrency mining take place in China because of its cheap electricity.
An’s illegal behavior has costed Baidu to lose around CNY27,000 mainly for high electricity usage and assets depreciation(servers), according to the court document.
Cyptocurrency trading is banned in China, but mining is not. Chinese authorities has removed crypto-mining from a banned list last year shortly after the central government issued policy to promote the use of underlying blockchain technologies in various sectors such as finance, cross-border digital payment, retails.