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Russian Scientists Caught Using Nuclear Supercomputer To Mine Bitcoin

A top-secret Russian nuclear facility has been caught trying to illicitly mine bitcoin, triggering several arrests at the confidential operation, according to a new report by RadioFreeEurope.

The Sarov facility’s security forces were notified of the illegal use of the supercomputer when it attempted to connect to the internet to add to the blockchain.

Nine people have been arrested in relation to the incident, according to Russia’s Federal Nuclear Center. "To our knowledge, a probe has been launched against the individuals," the press service later told the Interfax news agency. The facility, located in the western Russia, had previously been used to develop nuclear weapons for the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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In related news, two electric power stations in Russia were recently sold to a cryptocurrency miner looking to expand his operations—the latest sign that the country’s government-supported push to become a cryptocurrency mining hub has been successful, according to Zero Hedge.

Related: Nearly Half Of All Public Buses Will Be Electric By 2025

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The two stations are situated in the Perm Region on the western slopes of the Middle Ural Mountains, and in the neighboring Republic of Udmurtia. The facilities will be used as data centers as well as housing for cryptocurrency mining equipment and a center for cryptocurrency mining.

After initially approaching cryptocurrencies with skepticism, the Russian government last summer signaled that it would instead try to regulate and embrace the markets. Russian Ministry of Finance recently directed the drafting of a bill to legalize the trading of cryptocurrencies on approved exchanges, according to Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev, who has indicated that the government is seeking to provide greater oversight. President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to create legislation governing the status of bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, mining, and initial coin offerings, as well as defining everything that relates to digital money, by July.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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