..

600 Computers Used for Bitcoin Mining Stolen in Massive Heist

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Mar/02/2018

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Some 600 computers used to "mine" bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been stolen from data centers in Iceland in what police say is the biggest series of thefts ever in the North Atlantic island nation.

Some 11 people were arrested, including a security guard, in what Icelandic media have dubbed the "Big Bitcoin Heist." A judge at the Reykjanes District Court on Friday ordered two people to remain in custody.

The powerful computers, which have not yet been found, are worth almost $2 million. But if the stolen equipment is used for its original purpose — to create new bitcoins — the thieves could turn a massive profit in an untraceable currency without ever selling the items.

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

Three of four burglaries took place in December and a fourth took place in January, but authorities did not make the news public earlier in hopes of tracking down the thieves.

Bitcoin is a kind of digital money that isn't tied to a bank or a government. It has been hugely volatile, posting some dizzying intra-day rises and falls over the past year or so. The price of a single bitcoin rocketed to nearly $20,000 late last year and then plunged early this year. On Friday, it was trading just below the $11,000 mark.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rely on the blockchain, the name given to the public, distributed ledgers which track the coins' ownership. The Bitcoin ledger is powered by "miners," so-called because they throw computational power into the system, occasionally receiving — or "mining" — new bitcoins in return. Drumming up that computational power usually means lots of computers — and thus lots of electricity.

That desire for energy has created a gold rush for bitcoin in Iceland. Traders searching for cheap, renewable energy have been flooding into the island in recent months to take advantage of its geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.

Police tracking the stolen computers are monitoring electric consumption across the country in hopes the thieves will show their hand, according to an industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the media.

Unusually high energy usage might reveal the whereabouts of the illegal bitcoin mine.

Authorities this week called on local internet providers, electricians and storage space units to report any unusual requests for power.

In Edinburgh on Friday, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney launched a withering attack on cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and urged regulators around the world to monitor them in the same way as other financial assets.

In a speech to the Scottish Economics conference, Carney said a "global speculative mania" has "encouraged a proliferation of new cryptocurrencies" and said they should be held to the "same standards" as the rest of the financial system.

"Being part of the financial system brings enormous privileges, but with them great responsibilities," Carney said.

Business/Financial News

Bloomberg: DOJ Probing Tether of Bank Fraud

Bloomberg: DOJ Probing Tether of Bank Fraud

A U.S. probe into Tether, a digital token widely used to trade Bitcoin, is looking into whether executives behind the digital token committed bank fraud, a potential criminal case that would have broad implications for the cryptocurrency market, according to a report filed by Bloomberg News Monday morning.

Three Important Features a Pay Per Head Should Offer

Three Important Features a Pay Per Head Should Offer

When selecting a Pay Per Head sportsbook software, there are three primary things to consider in addition to the required reporting, lines management and customer service component. 

BSV Network Attacked: CoinGeek Explains What Happened

BSV Network Attacked: CoinGeek Explains What Happened

The BSV Network has come under attack in recent weeks, more specifically June 24, 2021 and then again on July 1, 6 and 9.  This is likely to become a trend targetting all blockchain networks and crypto sites.

Powell Says a Fed Digital Currency Could Undercut Need for Cryptocurrencies

Powell Says a Fed Digital Currency Could Undercut Need for Cryptocurrencies

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday said one of the stronger arguments for the U.S. central bank to set up a digital currency is that it could undercut the need for private alternatives such as cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.

Ethereum’s Virgil Griffith Violates Bail

Ethereum’s Virgil Griffith Violates Bail

Plus BSV a boon for advertising and affiliate marketing

Syndicate