Updated Feb. 9, 2022

Cryptocurrency mining using Kenyon resources is a violation of college policy and is prohibited. This includes use of Kenyon systems or personally owned systems using the college’s electrical or networking resources. This prohibition applies to all members of the Kenyon community and any guest, vendor, or contractor using Kenyon’s network, computing, or electrical resources.

What is cryptocurrency mining?

Cryptocurrency mining is the process of solving cryptographic functions in order to create or earn cryptocurrency. This also includes participation in the distributed process of validating digital currency transactions and adding them to a public ledger for that currency (the blockchain) in pursuit of transaction fees or additional digital currency. The mining process is extremely computationally intensive and can use significant and costly amounts of computing time and electricity.

Why is mining prohibited at Kenyon?

Cryptocurrency mining violates Kenyon policy for the responsible use of resources. As a non-profit organization, Kenyon’s resources cannot be used for commercial purposes or for personal financial gain. Therefore, cryptocurrency mining using Kenyon resources violates our non-profit status and threatens Kenyon's ability to participate in federal financial aid programs, grants, and other government programs.

Cryptocurrency mining on Kenyon computers slows the performance of those computers for legitimate uses. Some cryptocurrency mining software leaves “back doors” for hackers to exploit the computers or network. It causes work for IT staff who must troubleshoot these performance and security issues. Finally, the significant electrical usage of cryptocurrency mining negatively impacts the college’s goals of sustainability and the responsible use of resources.

Can cryptocurrency mining harm my computer?

Hackers sometimes use phishing techniques to trick victims into clicking links that load cryptocurrency mining code on their computers, or set up websites with code that runs on visitors’ computers, mining cryptocurrency for the website owner. The only sign you may notice is a slowing of your computer's performance, but any private information on your computer could be compromised.

Are there any exceptions to this policy?

Cryptocurrency mining research or coursework formally approved by both faculty and the Vice President for Library & Information Services are exempt from this prohibition. (Note that all research involving human subjects also requires approval by the Institutional Review Board.) 

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Please contact Vice President for Library & Information Services Ron Griggs for any questions, concerns, or clarifications regarding this policy.