New York City Government Punishes Employee For Mining Bitcoin at Work

The City of New York (NYC) Conflicts of Interest Board has meted a disciplinary action against Vladimir Ilyayev, an employee of the city’s Department of Education, after being caught mining the cryptocurrency Bitcoin using his work computer.

Ilyayev has already admitted that he conducted Bitcoin mining during work hours in 2014.

Based on the public records about the case, the employee has installed mining software that ran at night on his work computer and monitored its progress from his home. The document was signed by Ilyayev, NYC Education Department counsel Karen Antoine, and Conflicts of Interest Board chairperson Richard Briffault.

Part of the public document reads:

"I ran Bitcoin mining software on my [work] computer from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. every night from March 19, 2014 until April 17, 2014, when my Bitcoin mining software was shut down by [the Department of Education's] Division of Instructional and Information Technology."

Punishment

After careful and thorough investigation of the case, the board has issued a sanction against Ilyayev for violation of the city’s statutes relating to the use of city time and resources for personal financial gain. He was mandated to forfeit four days of paid annual leave that is worth a total of $611.

Bitcoin mining is an energy intensive process using a computer by which new deals are added to the Blockchain, generating new Bitcoin tokens that are equivalent to the value of the blocks created.

Other Bitcoin mining-related cases in government agencies

Ilyayev’s case is not the first case recorded in the city in relation to Bitcoin mining. In early 2015, a network engineer of the Department of Education was investigated by the Conflicts of Interest Board for trying to run mining software on his work computer. However, he was eventually cleared due to lack of evidence that he successfully mined Bitcoin.


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