Australian escapes jail for mining cryptocurrency on supercomputers

The installation of Ethereum mining software on computing hardware at a government institute in Australia by Jonathan Khoo caused the damage that exceeded $50 thousand, but the court sentenced him to 15-month intensive correction order.

A resident of Australia has escaped a prison sentence for illegal cryptocurrency mining. Jonathan Khoo, 34, worked as a contractor for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). In 2018, he implemented a program to mine Ethereum and Monero into local supercomputers without authorization to processing power. He used the special equipment that the institute uses for highly complex calculations, according to the local edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.

In total, Khoo earned about $ 7000 by mining cryptocurrency for someone else’s account. At the same time, the amount of damage from the use of the Institute’s equipment, according to CSIRO estimates, exceeded $55,000. According to Australian law, the maximal punishment for this type of crime is up to 10 years in prison. Today, however, a court imposed a sentence of 300 hours of correctional order thanks to a number of things that provided a mild punishment. One of these was the fact that Khoo admitted his guilt almost immediately and acknowledged that he was incredibly remorseful.
Supercomputers are considered one of the potential threats to the cryptocurrency industry. The specialists say that the emergence of quantum supercomputers will become a serious threat to the digital asset market. The computing power of such machines may be sufficient to decrypt the cryptographic function of the blockchain.

But not everyone shares this opinion. In October, Forbes published an article also foreshadowing the destruction of bitcoin following the advent of Google’s supercomputer, but a number of experts were skeptical about this. For example, former Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd noted that the quantum computing breakthrough is at a low level.

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