Thieves in Iceland stole about 600 computers to mine cryptocurrencies, according to police.
Thieves stole about 600 computers from data centers in Iceland, with the goal of using them to mine cryptocurrencies.
The computers are worth about $2 million; none have been found, but police have arrested 11 suspects, including a security guard, according to the Associated Press. The burglaries took place in December and January.
“This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before,” Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, a local police commissioner told the AP. “Everything points to this being a highly organized crime.”
Iceland has become a haven for bitcoin mining, given the country’s relatively low electricity costs. Currently, one bitcoin is worth $11,000, so with enough time, a mining venture can generate a fortune. However, all that mining is starting to strain Iceland’s energy needs; a local firm warned that it’s gobbling up the country’s power resources.
Police might use that to their advantage in this case, though. According to the AP, investigators are hoping to nab the culprits by monitoring electricity consumption in the country. A spike might very well indicate that mining is taking place.
Local police have taken to Facebook for help on the investigation, too. They’ve been looking tips from companies that deal with web hosting, landlords that might be housing the computers, along with “electrical contractors.”
Enthusiasm for cryptocurrency, meanwhile, has led to a graphics card shortage. But as HotHardware reports, Monero is based on a CPU-optimized algorithm, and “AMD’s Threadripper family of processors is relatively adept at mining it.” For more, check out the site’s breakdown of how Threadripper performs with a CPU-optimized algo versus other many-core processors.