The “Big Bitcoin Heist”: A First For Iceland And The Cryptocurrency
11 arrests have been made in Iceland for the theft of some 600 bitcoin “mining” computers, what’s being called the “Big Bitcoin Heist.” The computers alone are worth around $2 million and have yet to be found. The real trouble comes if the thieves utilized the hardware to mine bitcoin, allowing them to potentially turn endless profit without the possibility of being traced.
The heist took place over four burglaries and Icelandic authorities say it’s the biggest series of such thefts in the nation’s history. Investigators also say the evidence all points to the involvement of organized crime.
Bitcoin itself is notorious for volatility and massive fluctuations in price, speeding from $20,000 per coin last year to less than half that in a month. Now the currency has stabilized around $11,000. The ability to make millions quickly has pushed some individuals to become professional thieves, it seems.
For now, Icelandic authorities have put out the call for consumers, ISPs, electricians, and storage rental owners to pay close attention to their internet usage. If they see a recent spike, they may be uniwittingly powering an illegal bitcoin mining operation.