Hundreds of Bitcoin Miners Stolen in Iceland. There are many ways in which people earn a full-time living off cryptocurrencies. Whether it is trading them, providing investment advice, setting up exchanges or mining the likes of bitcoin, there are many different options out there for digital currency enthusiasts.
However, there have been a number of hacks and scams that have damaged the earning power of these people. For example, many initial coin offerings (ICOs) have been hacked, which takes funds away from companies who need this revenue in order to expand their team and fulfil their potential on a daily basis.
There has now been a report coming out of Iceland that hundreds of miners of cryptocurrencies have been robbed, which has led to a number of people being arrested and the investigation is currently continuing.
It was reported that over 600 miners have been stolen and not yet recovered. These robberies were on four separate occasions in both December and January.
There were 11 individuals in total who were placed under arrest, including one security worker in relation to his ongoing investigation of what people in the community have dubbed as being the “Big Bitcoin Heist.”
There are two of the individuals who were arrested still in custody today following a ruling from the District Court in Reykjavik, but there has been no information released as to what sort of role they had as part to this heist.
Icelandic officials said that this scheme to undertake this robbery of machines that were worth nearly $2 million was the biggest the country has ever seen. The Police Commissioner in the area where two of the robberies took place said that these thefts were “on a scale unseen before.”
He is adamant that this was a scheme that was highly organised and involved serious operators in the criminal world.
Iceland has been a popular location for the bitcoin mining ecosystem as a result of the strong data centre industry they have in the country, as well as having great access to energy sources on a geothermal level. It is believed that politicians in the country are now debating about what ways they can place taxes on the mining operations in their country.
As a result of the massive price rises seen in the likes of bitcoin over the past year or so, these mining machines are high-profile targets as they can generate significant revenue for their owners. For example, it was in 2016 that 165 miners for bitcoin were stolen from a facility called BTCS in North Carolina, United States.
It will be interesting to see what happens after this case goes to trial (if it goes to trial) and if the miners are ever recovered. These are expensive pieces of equipment so the company in question could be at a loss if they are never recovered.
While there have long been associations of criminal activity and cryptocurrencies, mainly for using them to launder money, it seems like some criminals are taking a more active role in this sector and starting mining facilities potentially.