Iceland Grand Theft: 600 bitcoin-mining computers robbed.
March 9, 2018 5:19 am,
Why is Iceland so popular amongst the cryptocurrency industry? Iceland has become a magnet for cryptocurrency farms, blockchain technologies, and data centers. Why? Because of its cold climate which is instrumental in cooling the energy-consuming servers, and its low electricity prices.
At the most basic level, mining bitcoin involves computers solving complex mathematical equations in the hope of ‘discovering’ a coin.
On Wednesday (7th March 2018), police in Iceland reported a series of large-scale robberies, as a result of which about 600 computer farms for mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been stolen.
In it, as part of the investigation of the incident, 11 people were arrested, one of whom worked as a security guard. On Friday, the Reykjanes District Court expressed restraint, leaving only two people under arrest.
As per reports, the cost of damage is estimated at almost $2 million.
Around 600 Bitcoin-mining computer servers were taken from data centers in Reykjanesbær, near Reykjavik airport, and Borgarnes on Iceland’s west coast in a number of series occurring in the month of January and February, this year.
Police and investigators are still trying to locate the missing equipment, worth about £1.45million, that was likely stolen to mine digital currencies. Millions of pounds can be made from mining Bitcoin, however, it requires large and expensive computer servers to do so.
This was described as a “highly organized crime”. Iceland specifically is said to be a haven for mining due to lower electricity costs, making it easier to turn a profit. Since the beginning of the investigation, 11 suspects have been arrested.
Icelandic authorities have called on local internet service providers (ISPs), electricians and storage space units to report any unusual requests for power.
Of course, if the servers have been carved up and shipped out, that could well turn out to be a dead end.
In what Icelandic media have dubbed the “Big Bitcoin Heist,” 600 servers have been spirited out of data centers in four burglaries. Three heists happened in December and a fourth took place in January. According to reports, authorities have kept it on the hush-hush while they’ve worked on tracking down the culprits.
Investigators haven’t found the servers yet.
However, this is not the only recent example of bitcoin-related crime spilling over into the physical world. A couple weeks back, Taiwanese police said they suspected four gangsters of violently assaulting two men and forcing them to transfer Bitcoins into the gangsters’ account.