The Harvard Crimson reports that an unnamed individual was discovered utilizing Harvard’s Odyssey supercomputing cluster mine dogecoins. Dogecoin is one of the thousands of cryptocurrencies that have been popping up all over the web.
Like the majority of cryptocurrencies, the code that powers Dogecoin’s blockchain and network is forked from Litecoin, which had been initially seen as being a lighter-weight option to Bitcoin. Dogecoin utilizes the scrypt cryptographic algorithm to create hashes and drive the currency along. Bitcoin, however, is reliant on a different algorithm (SHA256).
It’s not mentioned in the Crimson’s story whether or not the individual caught mining Dogecoins was a student or a faculty member. Harvard Assistant Dean for Research Computing James A. Cuff, the person liable has lost usage of “any and all research computing facilities on a fully permanent basis.” Using university resources like the 4,096-core Odyssey supercomputing cluster-for revenue or personal gain, as well as any non-research jobs, is strictly forbidden.
“The Odyssey cluster is a bunch of computers networked together in a way that allows fast data transfer between processors. Although each individual processor isn’t much more powerful than your personal laptop, having many processors together can be a huge benefit when doing scientific computing,” Simmons-Duffin stated in an email to the Crimson.