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Tidbit is a Boston area startup company founded by MIT students to use web based distributed computing to mine bitcoins.[1] In December 2013, shortly after its formation, the company was served a subpoena by the Attorney General of New Jersey[1] under the state's consumer fraud protection act. After consulting the MIT administration the company was referred to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the company in its effort opposing the subpoena.[1]

In February 2014 MIT faculty members Hal Abelson, Ethan Zuckerman, and graduate student Nathan Matias published a letter calling on MIT to do more to protect the students, as legal risk jeopardized MIT's institutional mission in “training young people to imagine, create, and disseminate projects that expand the possibilities of technology.”[2] MIT President Rafael Reif then wrote an email to the MIT community, stating that Tidbit had "the full and enthusiastic support of MIT," and that he had directed the Provost, Chancellor and General Counsel to submit a proposal to provide legal advice to students.[3]

In May 2015 the parties reached a settlement.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ a b c Anner, Steve (February 13, 2014). "MIT Students Are Battling With New Jersey Officials to Save Their Startup Company". Boston Magazine. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  2. ^ Lin, Leon (February 14, 2014). "Open letter calls on MIT to do more in Tidbit's legal battle". The Tech. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  3. ^ "Letter to MIT community regarding support of students behind 'Tidbit'". MIT news office. February 15, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  4. ^ "New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Obtains Settlement with Developer of Bitcoin-Mining Software Found to Have Accessed New Jersey Computers Without Users' Knowledge or Consent". nj.gov.
  5. ^ "New Jersey Drops Investigation Into Tidbit". Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  6. ^ "MIT student settles legal fight with NJ over bitcoin-mining experiment". betaboston.com.

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