With a value in the range of hundreds of millions of dollar per chip, cryptocurrency bitcoin is a tempting target for criminals. Exchange bitcoin on the internet has long been the target of hackers. Later bitcoin-related crime widened into the real world.
One recent example is a series of robberies that hit some data centers in Iceland some time ago. A total of 600 units of bitcoin miner servers were stolen in four incidents near Reykjavik and Borgarnes airports. Three robberies took place in December 2017, then the fourth in January 2018.
Overall value of losses inflicted is estimated at nearly 2 million US dollars. Stolen computers are manifold servers with high computing power and expensive taggers as well. “This is a huge theft on an unprecedented scale,” said local police commissioner Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, as quoted infocommworld from the Associated Press on Saturday (10/3/2018).
Icelandic authorities suspect the robbery is an action organized by organized criminals, such as the mafia organization. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain to record transactions and coin ownership of its users.
The process of data blockchain is handled collectively by users around the world, using computer resources in a process commonly called “mine” ( mining ). In return, computers that provide resources for the common good will be given a new bitcoin in a certain amount that is getting smaller and smaller.
The mining process , therefore, consumes more and more computer and power resources. Iceland became an interesting location to make a bitcoin miner computer center because it provides cheap and renewable energy sources of geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.
Police are trying to monitor the consumption of electricity in Iceland that could point to the location of the perpetrators of crime, if they turn on stolen computers to do the mining. And even if the thieves do not sell the results of robbery to another party. Until now hundreds of computers worth tens of billions of dollars is still not found.