As previously reported, Iceland is considered a paradise for cryptocurrency miners, due to the low electricity prices, as well as their reduced temperatures, ideal for rigs. However, this also attracted several cases of stolen miners, which made the police start an investigation.
According to CoinDesk, The Associated Press reports that more than 600 miners were stolen during four different incidents in Iceland, between December and January. Unfortunately for their owners, nothing was recovered until now.
The first arrests were already made
The police arrested eleven people, including a security worker, as they have all been linked to the investigation known as “Big Bitcoin Heist.” Two suspects are still in custody after a ruling was issued by the Reykjanes District Court. However, it is still unclear what role these two persons had in the theft, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Considered as one of the biggest schemes in the country’s history, according to officials in Iceland, it managed to cause a loss of almost $2 million. The thieves were “on a scale unseen before,” said police commissioner Olafur Kjartannson, who works in the southwestern region of Reykjanes, the place where two of the thefts took place.
“Everything points to this being a highly organized crime,” he added.
This doesn’t come as a surprise though, considering the constant growth of cryptocurrencies over the recent months, so the police should expect similar cases in the near future. And not only in Iceland.
Iceland, the new dream location for cryptocurrency operations
As mentioned above, the country has an excellent ecosystem for mining cryptocurrency, thanks to its data center industry, as well as easy access to geothermal energy sources. Politicians are now considering taxing Icelandic mining operations, as more and more investors are moving their businesses here, due to mining’s reduced costs.
The mining rigs theft is not a premiere, as it happened in other countries as well. Back in 2016, 165 miners were stolen from BTCS, at a facility in North Carolina, United States.