Category Archives: Hunan

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Head Teachers in China Caught Red Handed Ether Mining at Work

Two school principals in Hunan province, China, have gotten themselves into hot water for mining Ethereum at work.

Lei Hua, Principal of the Puman Middle School in Chenzhou, Hunan convinced his wife that mining Ethereum might be a good way to earn some extra income, then put 7 machines to work at school.

Lei was put on to the benefits of crypto mining by a cousin, prompting him to spend 10,000 yuan on equipment, one machine followed later by another 6 which he ran round the clock in one of the school’s classrooms. The only problem being between June and November last year he used over $2K of the school’s electricity.

So profitable were the school principal’s extracurricular activities that his vice- principal decided to join him. The activities were only tumbled when teaching staff observed unusual levels of noise emanating from the schools’ physics’ lab which clearly couldn’t have been caused by lessons, although the 24 whirring was originally put down to the school’s air conditioning. This noise was emanating from an extra two machines set up there by vice-principle Wang, also purchased from the principal’s cousin.

Once the nine machines were discovered by authorities and duo’s earnings were seized, the school returned to its main function; educating the children. The principal was removed from office but his junior managed to retain his job with an official warning.

Illegal mining at work does happen, albeit not frequently. Power theft, however, is a far more frequent activity. Russian miners made the news earlier this year when more than 6,000 pieces of mining equipment were found at the site of an abandoned rubber factory in Orenburg, 1,478 kilometers southeast of Moscow near the Russian border with Kazakhstan.

Russian ministry of internal affairs spokesperson, Irina Volk, stated that the miners, two former factory employees, had stolen 8 million kW/h of electricity estimated to cost 60 million Russian rubles (RUB, approximately USD 968,000 at time of writing). Media reports suggest that despite rumors of the mining farm’s existence since March, police declined to comment if they had any knowledge of illegal activities taking place.

Also, earlier this year, Russian security officers arrested scientists at a top-secret warhead facility in Sarov, 240 miles east of Moscow. Several scientists had tried to use one of Russia’s most powerful supercomputers to mine Bitcoin.

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Chairman Mao Lookalike Not Appreciated at Chinese Blockchain Conference

This year’s Boao Blockchain Forum for Asia in China’s Hainan Province was rudely interrupted when ‘Chairman Mao Zedong’ took to the stage, the BBC has reported.

The impersonator, Xu Guoxiang, sporting a grey suit and speaking in Mao’s native Hunan accent managed to be on stage for just enough time to deliver a short speech to wish the conference well, commenting, “I sincerely hope this forum is a success. I thank you in the name of Mao Zedong!”

Xu Guoxing had clearly stepped over the line with his impersonation, as China’s law prohibits using the names and images of party leaders for commercial purposes. Social media hasn’t taken to the stunt lightly either, largely condemning it, due to Mao’s huge status, still venerated by many as the father of the nation. Some who commented on Chinese social media platform, WeChat, said they feared Xu’s performance could even hurt the future of blockchain in China.

The event organizers have separated themselves from the stunt and have apologized, issuing a statement that Xu was not affiliated with the Blockchain Forum. One blockchain enthusiast denounced the impersonation as “shameless” and “sensationalist”.

China’s official media has been predictably reticent to report details, simply reporting that the man had delivered a speech with “actor characteristics and personal opinion”, according to China’s Global Times website, adding that Xu was a “little-known actor”.

Although there has been some loosening in free speech in China in recent years, it is still highly state-controlled. The US Congressional Executive Commission on China clarifies the current position:

“Chinese authorities, recognizing in recent years that limited freedom of expression enables the government to better monitor potentially problematic social issues have begun to tolerate criticism, but only from certain categories of people, a kind of “free-speech elite”, and only then in government-controlled forums.”

Blockchain is developing rapidly in China, with numerous conferences extolling the virtues of the new technology and how it can be applied to business on the Chinese mainland. At another recent conference, the China International Big Data Expo held in Guizhou Province, Xunlie Ltd CEO Lei Chen suggested that many applications of the technology can be applied to benefit users in their daily lives and work:

“Now for the first time ever, we have an internet of value that anything with value – from money, stocks and music – can be managed and communicated by peer-to-peer in a secured and private way.”

Lei added that he believed that the US and China were on the same starting line and that the fundamental infrastructure is the core for any countries to lead the world in the new technology, according to Business Wire.


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