Following a series of thefts involving hundreds of bitcoin miners, Icelandic police are investigating what is reportedly the biggest thieving spree ever in the island nation.
The Associated Press is reporting a previously under-wraps spate of thefts in December and January wherein some 600 bitcoin miners were stolen in four separate burglaries. Now seen as the ‘Big Bitcoin Heist’ by Icelandic media, the estimated value of the stolen equipment is nearly $2 million.
An ongoing investigation has already resulted in 11 arrests including a security guard for what is believed to be an organized crime leading to the biggest thefts ever seen in Iceland.
Police commissioner Olafur Helgi Kjartansson of Iceland’s southwestern Reykjanes region where two of the burglaries took place said:
“This is a grand theft of a scale unseen before. Everything points to this being a highly organized crime.”
According to a report by local news source Visir, the total haul sees 600 graphics cards, 100 power sources, 100 motherboards, 100 memory discs and 100 CPUs stolen as a result of the thefts.
Iceland is home to some of the world’s most flourishing bitcoin mining ecosystems due to the country’s abundance of energy in geothermal and hydroelectric power plants and cold temperatures that are conducive for large-scale mining operations. A flurry of mining operations moving into the island nation has seen local politicians raise the possibility of taxing crypto mining activities.
Icelandic police kept the heists under wraps until last month, reportedly in the hopes of catching the burglars. For now, police have reportedly signaled internet providers, electricians and storage space providers to report any ‘unusual requests’ for energy. Authorizes are also monitoring power consumption across Iceland in the hopes of nabbing the thieves when spotting a spike.
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