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New York City Staffer Sanctioned For Mining Bitcoins at Work


An employee of New York City’s Department of Education has been disciplined after being caught mining bitcoins on his work computer.

According to a recently published disposition from the City of New York Conflicts of Interest Board, department employee Vladimir Ilyayev admitted to mining bitcoin between for a period of several weeks between March and April 2014. Bitcoin mining is an energy intensive process by which new transactions are added to the blockchain, generating new coins with every block that is created.

Ilyayev is said to have installed mining software that ran at night, while he monitored progress from his home.

The document, which includes a signature from Ilyatev along with those from NYC Education Department counsel Karen Antoine and Conflicts of Interest Board chair Richard Briffault, states:

“I ran bitcoin mining software on my [work] computer from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. every night from March 19, 2014 until April 17, 2014, when my bitcoin mining software was shut down by [the Department of Education’s] Division of Instructional and Information Technology”.

The board sanctioned Ilyayev for violating the city’s statutes that relate to using city time and resources for financial gain, though in the end, he was required to forfeit four days of paid annual leave – worth a total of $611.

“The Board, after reviewing prior cases involving the misuse of City time and resources for profit-making activities, has decided not to impose any additional penalty,” the disposition states.

Public records indicate that Ilyayev’s case isn’t the first time that a New York Department of Education employee was investigated for using their work equipment to mine bitcoins.

According to a Conflicts of Interest Board letter from April 2015, a network engineer reportedly tried to run mining software on his Department of Education computer. However, the engineer was ultimately cleared as “there is no evidence that [he] successfully obtained bitcoin.”

In January, an employee of the Federal Reserve Board of Directors was fined $5,000 and placed on probation after he was caught mining bitcoins on a server owned by the US central bank.

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