I was provided a decently powerful mac book pro valued at $2000 and was wondering if it would be okay if I mined cryptocurrency when I brought the laptop home.

Should I be concerned about any consequences, I believe I'm smart enough to turn it off when I go to work.

Also was reading up on https://www.securitynow.com/author.asp?section_id=613&doc_id=740382

and it seems like more and more people are abusing company resources to mine crypto.

There are people who use the company computers as personal computers as well.

I'm only working a few hours per week.

Hmm, decided not to mine bitcoin via argubly unsuited macbook.

Edit: Alibaba cloud was confusing to configure to set up low end mining

  • 3
    Is mining crypto ethical even before factoring in whose computer it's on?
    – Sidney
    Dec 28, 2018 at 22:25
  • 3
    @GrandFleet Your last comment indicates that you're interested in flat out stealing something that you acknowledge you don't legally own, mined with equipment you don't also own but are abusing (your word!). The type of cryptocurrency you would like to mine is totally irrelevant to these details. Are you honestly asking if any part of this is acceptable, or are you simply trying to gauge (and improve) your chances of getting away with it?
    – Upper_Case
    Dec 28, 2018 at 22:53
  • 3
    Keep in mind that the cost of mining may very well be higher than the reward. That is, unless you also intend to use your employer's electricity.
    – bytepusher
    Dec 28, 2018 at 23:34
  • 1
    You must be trolling.How would you like it if you gave soneone your car in the morning to get something for you from the store and afterwards they decided to do some pizza deliveries across town before they gave you the car back in the evening when you're back from work.what if they did this every time you ask them to use your car? Dec 30, 2018 at 10:45
  • 1
    Still if I lend a car to someone are they not allowed to use it to pick up their friends? In any case, that comparison is really meaningless.
    – GrandFleet
    Jan 1, 2019 at 4:38

5 Answers 5


I just want to provide a slightly alternative answer, because I'm not sure if this is all that black and white like other answers would paint it.

First of all, if the mining (or indeed whatever else!) is done at home, outside of work hours, while not connected to any company resources, no company resource is being spent and no damage is done to the company. Not even close.

Secondly, unless the company is in the crypto business, there's no conflict of interest, so that wouldn't be an issue either.

Thirdly, you aren't spending your brain resources on it, or losing sleep over it (hopefully!) so it wouldn't affect your job performance. And even if it did, it will affect you more than them, so you'd have to think for yourself.

Of course, like others suggested, if you aren't sure, go ahead and ask your manager (in writing!), but chances are they wouldn't know what it is and by default their answer will be a 'no'. But to me it sounds like going and asking your manager (in writing!) if you could play Minecraft on your Macbook while at home. Or if you could watch Youtube. Absolute nonsense.

PS: Will those down-voting provide any commentary please? I'm curious as to the reasons they have in their heads.

To start off I'll give you my own reasons: if I give someone a Mac to do some work, all I care about is this work being done to the agreed quality and timelines. What they do in their spare time is none of my business and I know for a fact that this Mac will be a write-off and essentially garbage within 24 months anyway. Even if it'd taken some superficial damage to the fans from overspinning (🙄), like some people are theorizing here.

  • 1
    LoL I like this answer the best.
    – GrandFleet
    Dec 29, 2018 at 16:08
  • 9
    " not connected to any company resources, no company resource is being spent" the computer itself is a company resource, and although it is not significant, running CPU intensive applications do result in wear and tear on that company resource (eg fans, possible mechanical wear due to increased heat on components, etc) Dec 29, 2018 at 16:46
  • 3
    transitors degrade; increased use therefore reduces the effective lifetime of the CPU spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/processors/transistor-aging/0 Dec 30, 2018 at 7:01
  • 2
    @maksimov haha good one.it's not about spying or creeping. It is about control,efficiency and legal liabilities in case of illegal actions by employees.any respectable,sized company has to(should) do this to deflect litigation, identify slackers or hackers and ensure employee codes of conduct are followed.Any business is required(well advised) to document all activities not solely for tax purposes or backtracking but all other thinkable and unknown eventualities.even your privaye internet provider may keep records of your activities(depending on country) for few to many months. Dec 30, 2018 at 11:25
  • 2
    I love this answer. Not because it's good (it's not). But because it's objectively the worst answer on the page... yet it was the accepted one because it gave the OP the answer they were hoping to get from the very beginning.
    – Kevin
    Feb 1, 2019 at 20:58

No it's not OK. And just because others are doing it, possibly many per your link, doesn't make it OK.

The machine belongs to your employer and should only be used for their purposes. You are risking viruses, getting hacked and exposure of company information on their equipment and are adding wear and tear for something that has no value to them.

If you want to mine crypto-currency or do anything else that is solely for your personal value, get your own computer.

Also, the number of hours you are working for them has nothing to do with whether this is right or wrong.

  • 6
    Personally, I wouldn't trust you if I found out you were doing this with company equipment. Would make me wonder what else you are doing.
    – cdkMoose
    Dec 28, 2018 at 20:51
  • 5
    @GrandFleet - I think it's sweet that you think that mining crypto on company property isn't misconduct
    – Richard
    Dec 28, 2018 at 20:53
  • 13
    @Grandfleet You asked for advice, it has universally been, "Don't do this." Your very first response to that was, "But I want to!" It's your choice to ignore the advice from many experienced people who tell you it's a bad idea, but don't say you haven't been warned if it goes wrong. Just because you don't like the advice, it doesn't make it wrong.
    – Jane S
    Dec 28, 2018 at 21:20
  • 9
    @Grandfleet It makes no difference if others are doing it. You asked if you should, you were told no, it's a bad idea. If any of your work colleagues asked the same question, they'd get the same answer. I get the impression that you are feeling defensive now, but you know it's wrong, or you wouldn't have asked the question. I think you were hoping to be given "permission" to do it anyway by asking here; instead, you got told what you already knew.
    – Jane S
    Dec 28, 2018 at 21:34
  • 8
    @GrandFleet You're responding to people's arguments by jumping back and forth between "it might be OK", "lots of people do it", and "I don't think I'd be caught". The details are clear: for a variety of reasons, it's not acceptable to do. If you do it, you might not get caught but would still be doing something wrong. You may still choose to do it, but it won't be OK. You are not being honest, you are assessing your chances of being caught in your misuse of equipment for your own profit. That's all there is to it here.
    – Upper_Case
    Dec 28, 2018 at 21:45

The obvious and easy way to know if it's OK to do this is to ask your boss for permission first.

If she says it's OK, then go for it. If she says 'no' or you're afraid to ask, then you have your answer.

Just because you think you can get away with it doesn't make it right.

  • 4
    Should also check contract and any company policy. If boss's response goes against them, OP will likely still be held accountable for things they should have been aware of.
    – cdkMoose
    Dec 28, 2018 at 22:09
  • 3
    This is, of course, the correct approach. However, be aware that raising this with your boss may alert them to your coworkers' practices if they didn't already know, which might result in an explicit banning of this practice across the board. You might find yourself suddenly rather unpopular with your colleagues.
    – Jane S
    Dec 28, 2018 at 22:31
  • It's also common for companies to have a policy where anything created with company equipment is the property of the company. So even if your boss says yes, there is a strong possibility any cryptocurrency you successfully mine belongs to your employer.
    – Seth R
    Dec 29, 2018 at 0:10
  • This is a dumb approach. You're trying to ask permission to profit off corporate equipment. Who even needs to ask that? It's like asking your boss if you can sell your company laptop. It's a stupid premise...
    – Nelson
    Jan 2, 2019 at 5:54

The chances of being fired immediately if/when this is found out are approximately 100%.

The chances of you making money with this scheme are about zero, unless you manage to steal electricity as well. The price of one bitcoin currently is so low that you may just about break even, taking into account electricity consumption, if you do this in a country with cheap electricity and with highly specialised hardware. Your MacBook and it's graphics card are not such highly specialised hardware, and your country doesn't provide electricity that cheaply.

And there's some guy in China right now in jail because he did that at his school, costing his school thousands of dollars in electricity; quite widely reported.

  • I said before I'm not mining bitcoin, geez.
    – GrandFleet
    Dec 28, 2018 at 22:44
  • 5
    Doesn’t really matter what type of cryptocurrency you were going to mine. It’s behavior that could get you fired.
    – Donald
    Dec 28, 2018 at 23:43
  • 3
    Your employer will not care one bit what you are mining. It's an irrelevant detail.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 29, 2018 at 9:06

"Sure it is." <- irony (please keep up people)

Everything you mine is in that case company property of course. (*1)

The fact that you have to ask, should already show you it is


You do realize, they may legally log everything you do with that machine...

Also, when in doubt read the company laptop policies and restrictions, get legal counsel or ask your employer, I'm sure they'll love to tell you how OK it is to pocket money created with property of your employer.(*2 <- irony

oh please explain downvotes, I dare you... Seriously, what's up with the downvotes?

You CAN'T use someone else's property for purposes not specifically agreed to by the owner!

Well,let me put it this way, you physically can, but if /when found out you're potentially in deep excrements if they decide to rain legal down on you.

(*1 You use company equipment,thus everything on it and generated with it can legally be disputed to be company property . You also can be liable for non work related wear or damages by software for instance.

(*2 what they most likely will say, you're not allowed to.

  • 1
    To take a guess at the down vote given to you, the first bolded words here might be why. That or since the question is tagged Canada your answer may not be factually correct. I didn't cast a vote here, but couldn't resist the dare.
    – David S
    Dec 28, 2018 at 22:39
  • 4
    My downvote was due to the negative tone of the answer, it reads extremely hostile, for absolutely no reason. The fact you added the “I dare you to explain the downvote” within 5 minutes indicates you expected a poor reception to your answer. Which makes the reason you didn’t address the numerous issues before submitting it.
    – Donald
    Dec 28, 2018 at 23:41
  • @Ramhound I dared explanation to incentivise because a)people should know downvote reasons to correct but hardly get them b)from experience here I see often on point,factual answers(i.e. not TL;DR ramblings with explanations required for toddlers)are downvoted by bad feelings,gut instinct or kneejerk reactions without apreciating that things don't always work as they should,one would like or would be expected by common sense(especially legal documents).The TONE is in irony(1st bold words),tongue in cheek(2 sentences)the rest is factual statements,void of feelings and negative vibe.You misread. Dec 30, 2018 at 10:12

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