A lot is going on in the cryptocurrency world especially in Iceland where a massive robbery resulted in the disappearance of over 600 computers.
Police believe the criminals have intentions of using the stolen computers to “mine” bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Several data centers around Iceland were vandalized.
Authorities in the North Atlantic island nation described the incidents as its biggest series of robbery in the country.
According to officials, the powerful computers valued around $2 million are yet to be located although over 10 persons have been arrested in connection with the thefts, including a security guard at one of the data centers.
Icelandic media has dubbed the incident “the Big Bitcoin Heist.”
Describing a likely scenario from the robbery, police said if the stolen equipment is used for its original purpose, which is to create new bitcoins, the thieves could turn a massive profit in an untraceable currency without ever selling the items.
In the aftermath of this heist, a judge at the Reykjanes District Court ordered two people to remain in custody while investigations continue.
Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, the police commissioner on the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula where two of the burglaries occurred said at a press briefing, “This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before. Everything points to this being a highly organized crime.”
Investigators revealed that three burglaries took place in December 2017 and another one in January 2018, adding that authorities did not make the news public earlier in order to keep track down the thieves without warning, but their efforts were futile.
Experts in Iceland say there has been a gold rush for bitcoin due to the energy supplies.
Media reports confirm traders have swarmed the island in recent months searching for cheap, renewable energy and hoping to take advantage of its geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.
However, police said search for the stolen computers will continue by keeping watch on electric consumption across the country with hope that the bandits will expose themselves. Also, local police have taken to Facebook for help on the investigation, looking for tips from companies that deal with web hosting, landlords that might be housing the computers, along with “electrical contractors.”
Similarly, a report from ZDNet confirms staff at the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia are being investigated by the police for allegedly mining cryptocurrency on the bureau’s computers.