Iceland authorities have apprehended the 11 suspects involved in a grand heist of 600 computers used to mine digital currencies. This was done in a series of four thefts with the first three done in December and the fourth in January. Two of the four robberies were done in the Reykjanes peninsula. The value of the stolen computers adds up to $2 million—making it what the police say is the biggest series of robberies in the North Atlantic Island.
The suspects have been brought in for questioning and authorities have reason to believe that this large-scale robbery may be linked to organized crime.
Mining for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has gotten harder and harder each year. Miners have gone from just using their ordinary computer to upgrading to very expensive and advanced tech hardware. To add to that, they have to deal with the heat generated and the sky high electricity bills that come with running such hardware. For these reasons, many people just stick to buying and trading digital currencies.
Iceland’s energy comes from renewable geothermal and hydroelectric power plants making their electricity costs one of the cheapest in the world. This and their cold climate make Iceland a magnet for individual crypto miners and even entire crypto mining companies. It comes as no surprise that the thieves’ motives for the crime was to use the equipment to mine Bitcoin.
The investigation of the “Big Bitcoin Heist” is still going on and the $2 million worth of servers are still yet to be recovered. Authorities are hoping that they can detect the use of these computers with the unusually high energy use that would come with running them.