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Harvard supercomputing cluster hijacked to produce dumb cryptocurrency

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posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 06:54 PM
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Love of money can cause people to do unwise things—like stealing time on your university's resident supercomputer to mine crypto-coins. The Harvard Crimson is carrying the story of someone who did exactly that: an unnamed individual who was discovered using Harvard's Odyssey supercomputing cluster to generate dogecoins.

Dogecoins are one of the multitude of roll-your-own cryptocurrencies that have lately sprouted like weeds in an unkempt vegetable garden. Like most of them, the code that powers Dogecoin's blockchain and network is forked from Litecoin, which was originally billed as a lighter-weight alternative to Bitcoin. Dogecoin (and Litecoin and Coinye and many others) use the scrypt cryptographic algorithm to generate hashes and drive the currency along; media-darling Bitcoin, on the other hand, is based around a different algorithm (SHA256). The currencies are all similar to each other, though they are (generally) incompatible and (typically) do not interoperate. (There are caveats, but cryptocurrencies are complex and I'm trying to keep this relatively short—check here for the full details on how and why cryptocurrencies work.)

It is not stated in the Crimson's piece whether the individual caught mining Dogecoins was a student or a faculty member. However, according to Harvard Assistant Dean for Research Computing James A. Cuff, the person responsible has lost access to "any and all research computing facilities on a fully permanent basis." Using university property—like the 4,096-core Odyssey supercomputing cluster—for profit or personal gain, or even any non-research tasks, is most definitely against the rules.

Source


Who get the coins if the wallet was found? Time for super computer sites to inspect their systems, it seems.



edit on 2/24/2014 by roadgravel because: tags




posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 06:58 PM
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reply to post by roadgravel
 


That's interesting. I've never heard of anything like that; good find.



posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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The timing of the alleged mining coincided with an anticipated price fluctuation in the dogecoin market, according to Timothy R. Peterson, a postdoctoral fellow in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Department.

Peterson, who invests in dogecoin himself, said half of all dogecoins on the market were mined by last week, initiating a process called “halving.” When half of the total number of coins are mined, the reward for mining goes down, and with it the incentive to mine. Thus, Peterson said, the price of the dogecoin was expected to double shortly after the half-way benchmark.

Although the price did not increase as dramatically as expected, Peterson suspected that if someone had mined for many days last week on the Odyssey cluster, the financial gain could have been in the hundreds, and perhaps thousands of dollars.

The Harvard Crimson


That seems like reasonable speculation.



posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 09:19 PM
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Peterson, who invests in dogecoin himself

God damn it... what is with all these morons who invest in "dogecoin". The whole thing started as a joke and it should remain as a joke. All it does is undermine the legitimacy of all the other innovative alt coins and cryptocurrency in general. Now when ever you read an article about cryptocurrency they always have to mention the most stupid ones possible like dogecoin and coinye. The fact dogecoin has so much value now is a proof of how moronic people are... and how effective the dogecoin shills are.
edit on 24/2/2014 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 09:50 PM
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Think of the pure, beautiful absurdity, people strive by any means to obtain the object of their worship, money, fiat currency or better still numbers in an account somewhere, and ir's all worthless, a fiction, a phantasm of no real worth or value......bits of paper, zeroes and ones inside a man made machine.



posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 11:02 PM
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reply to post by HUMBLEONE
 



It's all worthless, a fiction, a phantasm of no real worth or value......bits of paper, zeroes and ones inside a man made machine.

Certainly not worthless.

If I can exchange my bits of paper, my ones and zeroes, for something I value — a bowl of noodles, a house, archery classes, an executive jet — then they are not worthless. Their worth is that of the things they can buy.

The same is true of anything used as money. It makes no difference whether you use gold, cowrie shells, paper or bits and bytes. The value of money does not reside in the object used as currency.

In fact, there is no such thing as intrinsic value. If you doubt this, consider air. What could be more valuable to humans? Without it, we die in minutes, horribly. But air, most of the time, is so abundant and so accessible that it is free. Despite its essential utility, its intrinsic value is zero.

Marxists and gold-standard fetishists are both wrong. All value is set by the laws of supply and demand. All currency is ‘fiat currency’.



posted on Feb, 25 2014 @ 08:53 AM
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Astyanax
reply to post by HUMBLEONE
 



It's all worthless, a fiction, a phantasm of no real worth or value......bits of paper, zeroes and ones inside a man made machine.

Certainly not worthless.

If I can exchange my bits of paper, my ones and zeroes, for something I value — a bowl of noodles, a house, archery classes, an executive jet — then they are not worthless. Their worth is that of the things they can buy.

The same is true of anything used as money. It makes no difference whether you use gold, cowrie shells, paper or bits and bytes. The value of money does not reside in the object used as currency.

In fact, there is no such thing as intrinsic value. If you doubt this, consider air. What could be more valuable to humans? Without it, we die in minutes, horribly. But air, most of the time, is so abundant and so accessible that it is free. Despite its essential utility, its intrinsic value is zero.

Marxists and gold-standard fetishists are both wrong. All value is set by the laws of supply and demand. All currency is ‘fiat currency’.
. But in the end, these "life support credits" are of little value save useage in a system contrived to subjugate others.



posted on Feb, 25 2014 @ 09:06 AM
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Seems to me most of this is about mining to get money. If the biggest system was proof of stake or similar with little mining reward, would it be as popular except for contraband purchase usage.

edit:

and of course as people collect these coins, other work on malware to steal it.
edit on 2/25/2014 by roadgravel because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2014 @ 09:11 AM
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roadgravel
Seems to me most of this is about mining to get money. If the biggest system was proof of stake or similar with little mining reward, would it be as popular except for contraband purchase usage.

edit:

and of course as people collect these coins, other work on malware to steal it.
edit on 2/25/2014 by roadgravel because: (no reason given)


Bite yer toong, lad, as me da' in law would say.

I want these guys to succeed. Especially Bitcoin. At least for a while. Maybe six months or so, maybe a year. After that I won't care.



posted on Feb, 25 2014 @ 09:36 AM
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reply to post by Bedlam
 

Not saying I want them to lose but greed on both sides is an obstacle.


Some version will succeed in time.



posted on Feb, 25 2014 @ 04:35 PM
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ChaoticOrder

Peterson, who invests in dogecoin himself

God damn it... what is with all these morons who invest in "dogecoin". The whole thing started as a joke and it should remain as a joke. All it does is undermine the legitimacy of all the other innovative alt coins and cryptocurrency in general. Now when ever you read an article about cryptocurrency they always have to mention the most stupid ones possible like dogecoin and coinye. The fact dogecoin has so much value now is a proof of how moronic people are... and how effective the dogecoin shills are.
edit on 24/2/2014 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



I agree with this, it's history repeating itself like during the old consoles of the early 80's, atari and a bunch of other game systems and the companies wanting their product to be "the next big thing", quality drops and then it becomes just another cryptocurrency to select from out of the dozens already made and still being made.



posted on Feb, 26 2014 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by HUMBLEONE
 



But in the end, these "life support credits" are of little value save useage in a system contrived to subjugate others.

What system would that be?

Do you know when money was invented?



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