Former facilities worker who allegedly set up a secret cryptocurrency mining operation

After skipping a planned court appearance to respond to accusations, a former facilities worker who is accused of setting up a covert bitcoin mining operation inside a Massachusetts school’s crawl space is slated to be arrested. The hearing was to answer to the allegations.

According to several sources in the media, Nadeam Nahas’ arraignment on the allegations of vandalizing a school and making fraudulent use of power was due to take place on February 23.

A form of warrant known as a default warrant is the kind of warrant that courts issue when a person fails to appear in court or comply with an order. This type of warrant gives law enforcement officials the authority to arrest the individual in question.

It is alleged that Nahas, who is said to have previously worked in the facilities department for the town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, United States, stole electricity worth almost $18,000 in order to power his cryptocurrency mining operation in 2021, between April 28 and December 14, specifically between the dates of April 28 and December 14.

According to the reports, the local authorities were notified about the operation for the first time in December 2021. This occurred after the director of facilities at Cohasset noticed computers, wiring, and ductwork that appeared to be out of place given that they were located in a crawl space close to the school’s boiler room.

There were a total of 11 computers discovered at the location, and after a three-month investigation, Nahas was determined to be a suspect in the case.

In March, Nahas handed in his resignation from his job with the municipality of Cohasset.

It is very unlikely that this is the first time someone has been accused of stealing energy for the purpose of mining cryptocurrencies.

Officials in Malaysia destroyed Bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs worth $1.2 million in July 2021 after seizing them from citizens who were stealing energy to mine Bitcoin. The rigs had been taken from citizens who were mining Bitcoin illegally.

A year earlier, in August of 2019, Bulgarian police made the arrest of two individuals for unlawfully siphoning off more than $1.5 million in energy to run two cryptocurrency mining farms.


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Report crowns Solana for using least energy per transaction, but there’s a catch

Solana (SOL), one of the most active proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains, appears to be a PoS protocol consuming the lowest amount of electricity per transaction, according to a new report.

The Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute (CCRI), a research startup focused on the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, released on Wednesday a new report calculating the electricity consumption and carbon footprint of major PoS blockchains.

The CCRI specifically analyzed PoS networks including Cardano, Solana, Polkadot, Avalanche, Algorand and Tezos.

According to the CCRI’s findings, the Solana blockchain consumed 0.166 watt-hours (Wh) of electricity per transaction within the study, becoming the most energy-efficient PoS protocol in terms of energy used per transaction among the six analyzed networks.

Cardano, a PoS network that has the biggest market capitalization at the time of writing, consumes the biggest amount of electricity per transaction, which is 52 Wh, according to the report. However, when it comes to a “per-node” comparison, Cardano uses the least amount of electricity per node, the CCRI found.

Electricity consumption per transaction for PoS systems and Visa. Source: CCRI

“This metric depends on the amount of transactions taking place on the respective blockchain, also the overall electricity consumption per transaction further depends on the number of nodes connected to the respective network. Generally, these numbers are expected to go down with an increase in the transaction rate, regardless which blockchain is in use,” the study reads.

Despite Solana’s low energy consumption per transaction, the PoS protocol still consumes a lot of energy due to the network’s massive usage, compared to other PoS networks. According to the CCRI’s study, the Solana blockchain emits 934 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, compared to 33 tonnes for Polkadot.

At the time of writing, Solana is the most-traded PoS protocol, with $2.9 billion in daily trading volumes, while Polkadot has about $900,000 in daily trading volumes, according to data from CoinGecko.

Yearly carbon footprint of PoS networks compared to a roundtrip flight in business class. Source: CCRI

Related: Fossils vs Renewables, PoW vs PoS: Key policy issues around crypto mining in US

Unlike major blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which use mining operations to confirm transactions based on a proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism, PoS blockchains rely on users simply locking up tokens. As PoS blockchains do not need extra energy from miners in order to validate transactions, they are considered as being more energy efficient.

As previously reported, many global financial regulators have used PoW’s high energy consumption rates as yet another reason to ban the use of cryptocurrencies like BTC. They would probably also want to ban global banks as the traditional banking system was reportedly consuming twice more energy than the entire Bitcoin network as of March 2021.