Thieves Steal 600 Computers Used To Mine Bitcoin

Approximately 600 computers in Iceland used to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were stolen from data centers in what has been dubbed the "Big Bitcoin Heist."  Eleven people including a security guard were arrested following four separate heists, according to Fortune. Two of the suspects were ordered to remain in custody by a Reykjanes District Court judge while the rest were released. The name of the company involved in the thefts have not been reported. 

Three of the burglaries happened last December, and the fourth occurred in January. Authorities kept the incidents under wraps while their investigation was ongoing. 

Bitmain mining farm near Keflavik, Iceland (Reuters/Jemima Kelly)

The computers are worth nearly $2 million - however the potential value of the untraceable cryptocurrencies they could produce makes the heist quite a bit more lucrative. 

"This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before," said police commissioner Olafur Helgi Kjartansson. Two of the burglaries took place in his district on the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula. "Everything points to this being a highly organized crime."

Cryptocurrency mining in Iceland has boomed in the last several years - so much that the "mining industry" is projected to use approximately the same 100 mW in 2018 as the entire 334,000 population of the island nation.

Low electricity costs in the North Atlantic from and abundance of renewable energy along with naturally icy temperatures that keep GPUs cranking along at peak efficiency make Iceland an attractive location to mine cryptocurrencies.


Although expensive, mining hardware must be kept cool so as to prevent overheating. Utilising Icelands natural elements, the exteriors of mining facilities are deliberately only partially constructed; providing huge financial savings.

Iceland police has called on local ISPs, electricians and storage space owners to report any unusual requests for power. 


BraceforImpact Tue, 03/06/2018 - 04:36 Permalink

"The potential value of the crypto currencies"


You mean zero?


Crazy world we live in. Burning through massive amounts of electricity to produce nothing.


People need to understand you don't have to ask permission. If  you want to use crypto,  go ahead. Anything is better than fiat.


I won't be joining the Orwellian nightmare though.

GeezerGeek BraceforImpact Tue, 03/06/2018 - 09:03 Permalink

While zero is a possible value for crypto-currencies, there is a great likelihood they will be better known 100 years from now than, say, The Shape of Water or most of the other wastes of time and energy we currently consider to be entertainment. After all, we - at least some of us - recall details about wooden nickels, which date back at least to the Civil War era. But how many can name the Oscar-winning picture from 1861? (Just joking, for those - libtards, mostly - with no sense of humor.)


In reply to by BraceforImpact

NoCamelCase BraceforImpact Tue, 03/06/2018 - 09:32 Permalink

explain how tokens are worth 0 for public blockchains that facilitate trade or any other application like prediction markets, storage and processing of documents for governments - or any other application where the transparency and security of the blockchain is an advantage. there are some - not saying everything needs to be on blockchain but mankind needs a easily verifiable way to ensure there is no tricky business done with their data - by hackers or sysadmins.

crypto enables libertarian open market for information.

In reply to by BraceforImpact

Endgame Napoleon SpanishGoop Tue, 03/06/2018 - 09:41 Permalink

In the event of a Bitcoin meltdown, they can use those computers for social media, provided they are in the market to buy all kinds of ancillary products to protect them, keeping them functional until the software becomes outdated and beyond-all-updates, at which point they (or the people who purchased the computers) will be receiving 2,000,000,000 telemarketing calls by bots (and a few humans) and 3,000,000,000 bot-generated emails, urging them to [buy], not steal, the next round of mining computers at a $4,500 bargain, as opposed to the $3,500 apiece that somebody spent on those 600 heisted Bitcoin-mining rigs.

In reply to by SpanishGoop

anarcode Tue, 03/06/2018 - 06:15 Permalink

 however the potential value of the untraceable cryptocurrencies 

There's nothing more traceable than bitcoin.

Monero on the other hand...

Hubbs Tue, 03/06/2018 - 07:29 Permalink

I remember the good old days of "shrooms" drug busts, where authorities just had to scan for surges in electric bills to tip them off of people growing under the lights.

Jenner by the Sea was one place I fondly remember.


Now, such a surge will be used to track a BTC mining operation.