- 600 cryptocurrency miners stolen from data centers in Iceland.
- Icelandic police have arrested some connected people and are still on investigations.
Reykjavik, Iceland: About 600 computers used in cryptocurrency mining have been stolen from data centers in Iceland. These stolen cryptocurrency miners, which have not yet been found, are worth almost $2 million. This theft has led to a series of arrests amidst an ongoing investigation. Icelandic police tagged this the biggest series of thefts ever in the North Atlantic island nation. Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, the police commissioner who works in the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula, where 2 of the thefts happened, said:
“This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before, everything points to this being a highly organized crime.”
Report from Associated Press revealed that as many as 600 miners – which are worth almost $2 million and are yet to be recovered – were stolen during four different incidents in December and January. If these stolen cryptocurrency miners are used for its original purpose — mining new cryptocurrencies — the thieves would earn a huge profit without ever selling the items.
Some eleven people were arrested, which include a security worker, in connection with the investigation into what the media named the “Big Bitcoin Heist.” A judge at the Reykjanes District Court on Friday ordered two people to remain in custody, though the role these two allegedly played in the heists remains unclear.
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Iceland boasts of a long-running cryptocurrency mining ecosystem, thanks to the data center industry in the country and access to geothermal energy sources. Recently, Icelandic politicians have reportedly begun exploring the idea of taxing Icelandic mining operations.
Stealing of cryptocurrency miners is perhaps not surprising, given the recent growth in prices of cryptocurrencies. Past incidents of such theft include the theft of 165 cryptocurrency miners from bitcoin miner BTCS at a facility in the U.S. state of North Carolina in 2016.
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