While colleges are known to produce sharp minds in various professions, they are now doing much more. According to research conducted by Cisco, college kids are now using free campus electricity to mine cryptos.
Security researchers at Cisco have been monitoring crypto mining operations across various industries. According to their research, colleges rank second in crypto mining operations, only behind the energy and utilities sector.
The energy sector accounts for 34 percent of crypto mining operations. This is understandable as energy costs are the most prohibitive cost associated with crypto mining. Following closely behind are the hundreds of colleges spread across the world.
As the researchers revealed, free campus electricity is one of the biggest reasons behind the widespread crypto mining. The college kids only have to worry about the cost of the mining equipment.
Austin McBride, a threat researcher at Cisco explained:
“You leave the mining rig running in your dorm room for four years, you walk out of college with a big chunk of change. […] You can run your mining rig in your dorm or school library and not worry about those costs eating into your mining profitability.”
Interestingly, the healthcare industry comes in at a distant third with 7 percent. Media at 6 percent, local government at 4 percent and manufacturing at 3 percent follow suit.
While the mining is distributed globally, the U.S has a commanding lead. The country’s colleges contribute to 62 percent of the cryptos mined in colleges. Canada and South Africa are tied at a distant second place, with 70 other countries globally accounting for 28 percent.
McBride believes the mining difficulty has been one of the factors that have driven the college kids to mine. The higher the mining difficulty, the more the energy required to mine. The prices of most cryptos have also been battered in the year-long bear market. They are therefore not as profitable to mine. He explained:
“Mining difficulty for a lot of coins is very high right now—which means it costs more for electricity and internet than the profit you can produce from mining those coins. If you don’t have to pay for those costs, then you are in a really good spot for making money on the university’s dime.”
Blockchain courses have also become quite popular in top universities. According to a report by Coinbase, 42 percent of the world’s top universities now offer blockchain courses. Stanford leads in the discipline, with Cornell, University of Pennsylvania and UCLA being the other leading universities.
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