According to findings shared by Cisco, a tech conglomerate, campus students have been using electricity from their colleges to mine virtual currencies.
Colleges provide their students with free electricity. The free power allows the students to use crypto mining rigs without fears of getting a big power bill. The only expense that the students face is getting enough money to buy the mining rigs.
Such students make an income that allows them to cover expenses that range from buying textbooks to paying school fees. How much they make depends on how many coins they mine.
While students do not have to pay for the power their gadgets consume, problems come knocking when their schools have to a lot of money for the ‘free’ electricity they use.
Just How Common is Crypto Mining Among Students?
Per the findings of Cisco’s research, college students are the second-largest crypto miners. The conglomerate’s cloud security platform named ‘Umbrella’ conducted research across different industries. Umbrella noted that students produce 22 percent of all crypto mined in the world. They come second to the energy and utility industry, which produces around 34 percent.
Reportedly, the poor performance of the crypto market last year caused mining proceeds to drop. However, despite the decrease in profits, the number of miners shot up. Umbrella based its research on this anomaly to find the reason behind the growing mining pool.
Austin McBride, Cisco’s threat researcher, emailed a news site detailing how you can take advantage of free electricity. He stated,
You can run your mining rig in your dorm or school library and not worry about those costs eating into your mining profitability.
He added that the students are in a good spot to make a lot of money from their university’s pocket as they don’t have to pay for the electricity bills.
Austin further noted that mining in campuses is very distributed meaning a lot of students are mining virtual currencies from different dorm rooms.
College Students Also Infamous for Cryptojacking
Vectra, a cyber-attack monitoring firm conducted a study last year and found cryptojacking was more widespread on campuses compared to other industries. In a blog post, Vectra said,
Students who mine cryptocurrency are simply being opportunistic as the value of cryptocurrencies surged over the past year, with the value of bitcoin peaking at $19,000.
Vectra published another report this year saying,
cryptocurrency mining has surged in popularity with students and criminals, particularly among universities with large student populations.
How do the students manage to keep their activities in the dark?
Using business-grade mining rigs in campuses is next to impossible. This is because such miners generate a lot of heat and make a lot of noise. Since the students do not want their activities to come to light, they came up with a way to mine cryptocurrencies without being discovered. According to Mark D’Aria, the founder and CEO of Bitpro, a New York-based firm that deals with crypto mining, the students use old-fashioned PCs. While such machines do not mine a lot of virtual currencies, their owners can make some good money even in the midst of a crypto market crash.
Do you think it is right for students to mine cryptocurrencies using their campus’ electricity? Let us know in the comments section below.