The largest theft in Iceland’s history occurred recently when thieves stole 600 computers that were used for Bitcoin mining from data centers.
When one hears of a crime ring pulling off major heists, the least likely location for such a circumstance would be the island nation of Iceland. The sparsely populated country of 348,680 people is most famous for being the birthplace of Bjork. However, Iceland was recently hit with its biggest crime wave ever as thieves stole 600 computers used for Bitcoin mining.
Crypto Criminal Behaviour
A gang of thieves orchestrated four rounds of thefts of computers used for Bitcoin mining. Police state that the computers were stolen from data centers in Iceland and that the crime wave is the largest one in the country’s history.
Two of the thefts took place on the Reykjanes peninsula, The police commissioner there, Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, says:
This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before. Everything points to this being a highly organized crime.
Three of the burglaries took place in December while the fourth one happened in January. All told, the 600 computers are worth a combined $ 2 million. Of course, they could be used to generate far more money than that if they’re used for Bitcoin mining.
Army of Bitcoin
Icelanders are calling the crimes the “Big Bitcoin Heist.” A total of 11 people have been arrested so far, with one of those detained being a security guard. Two of those arrested have been ordered to remain in custody by a judge.
None of the stolen 600 computers have been found yet. Police are asking power companies to report any suspicious electric consumption in order to, hopefully, locate the computers if they’re used to mine for cryptocurrency.
While definitely tiny by population standards, Iceland is becoming a hotspot for cryptocurrency miners. Energy is cheap in Iceland due to country’s geothermal and hydroelectric power plants. This has resulted in an influx of crypto miners moving into the country in order to lower their costs.
One wonders how the thieves plan on utilizing their stolen goods. Firing up 600 computers will definitely catch the attention of power companies, who will then alert the police. It may be that they’ll be moved out of the country to be sold.
Do you think the police in Iceland will find the stolen computers? Is Bjork one of your favorite artists? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Pxhere and Wikimedia Commons/@Santiago Felipe.