Student caught with crypto mining equipment in NUS UTown Residence


Jean Iau
The Straits Times
April 12, 2022

The National University of Singapore (NUS) UTown Residence has cautioned residents against cryptocurrency mining in their rooms after it found mining rigs installed in a resident's apartment.

According to an advisory from the UTown Residence Management Office on Monday (April 11) seen by The Straits Times, the mining rigs were found during a routine inspection last week.

The advisory included a picture of mining equipment, set up next to a sofa and plugged into a three-way socket extension point with a small standing fan on the floor pointed up towards the rig.

"The devices were emitting unusually high heat dissipation," the e-mail advisory stated, adding that this was a fire hazard.

"These devices consume extremely high levels of energy which can overload our electrical circuit boards and cause power outages."

The management office referred residents to their housing agreements which state that activities that may cause fire, explosion, the release of toxic materials or any kind of hazard to the residents are strictly prohibited.

The office added that disciplinary action will be enforced for those who do not comply with the rules.

UTown Residence told ST on Tuesday that residents were told that crypto mining rigs are strictly prohibited as they consume very high levels of energy and emit unusually large amounts of heat, posing a fire hazard and the risk of power outages.

"We are investigating this matter and have ordered the equipment to be removed for the safety of our residents," said a spokesman for UTown Residence.

Crypto mining refers to a verification and currency creation process where powerful computers race one another to process transactions, solving complex mathematical problems that require quintillions of numerical guesses a second.

Miners can be rewarded with new cryptocurrency and transaction fees.

The New York Times reported last month that for the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, researchers estimate that a single transaction requires more than 2,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is enough energy to power the average American household for 73 days.

The Straits Times

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