At the New York Times DealBook conference on Thursday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that his 11-year-old son was mining for Ethereum on the family’s home PC.
The revelation came as Pichai was asked about how he, a parent living in Silicon Valley, thinks about screen time for his children. A recent New York Times article showed that parents living in Silicon Valley and working in tech are often most concerned about excess screen time and tech addiction among their children.
“I’m like every other parent I guess,” Pichai said. “I do test a lot of gadgets at home so I have vulnerabilities in terms of how my kids get access to stuff.”
Pichai then shared that his 11-year-old son had been mining the cryptocurrency Ethereum.
“Last week I was at dinner with my son and I was talking about something about Bitcoin and my son clarified what I was talking about was Ethereum, which is slightly different,” Pichai explains. “He’s 11 years old. And he told me he’s mining it.”
Google’s CEO was asked if he had a server in his home to assist in his son’s mining efforts, to which he explained his family only had a simple computer, but it was one that Pichai built himself.
Pichai did have to explain the nation’s paper money system to his crypto-minded son.
“I had [to] more explain to him how paper money actually works. I realized he understood Ethereum better than how paper money works,” Pichai said. “I had to talk to him about the banking system, the importance of it. It was a good conversation.”
Pichai’s 11-year-old son isn’t the only heir to a Google fortune mining for cryptocurrencies.
At a blockchain conference hosted by Sir Richard Branson in Morocco in July, Google cofounder Sergey Brin said that he and his son have been mining Ethereum as well.
“A year or two ago, my son insisted that we needed to get a gaming PC,” Brin said. “I told him, ‘Okay, if we get a gaming PC, we have to mine cryptocurrency. So we set up an Ethereum miner on there, and we’ve made a few pennies, a few dollars since.”
Thursday’s interview with Pichai came as thousands of Google employees around the world walked out in protest over the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations.
“This anger and frustration within the company – we all feel it,” said Pichai when asked about the protests. “I feel it too.”