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Mining for cryptocurrency can be lucrative. But can it be done without stealing electricity?

Two technicians inspect bitcon mining at Bitfarms. (Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images)
Two technicians inspect bitcon mining at Bitfarms. (Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images)

Every now and then we hear about extraordinary finds in a building’s forgotten crawl space — a Civil War artifact, historical letters, a costume from a classic movie.

But in the small town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, a facilities director made a more modern discovery: a cryptocurrency mining operation. It was discovered at the local middle and high school building. The director found a room full of advanced computers, wiring and ventilation devices, estimated to have cost the school more than $18,000 in stolen electricity.

An assistant facilities director was charged in the case, which raised several important questions; Is it possible to mine for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without stealing electricity? And, what does it mean to “mine” for these ephemeral coins?

Professor Steven Gordon teaches information technology at Babson College in Massachusetts. He joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young for more.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.