The missing machines from the bitcoin mining hardware theft incident in Iceland just may be in China.
Icelandic police have reportedly already reached out to their Chinese counterparts to ask about the 600 devices used for mining the cryptocurrency that were confiscated in the northern city of Tianjin.
The number of seized machines matches exactly that of the missing computers that were stolen in three separate burglaries at data centers in Iceland back in December and January. Icelandic police were able to identify and apprehend two suspects in February. One of them faces an international arrest warrant, after he broke out from an Icelandic prison and flew to Sweden in last month.
The missing equipment has yet to be found. Its total worth is pegged at 200 million krónur, which is almost $2 million. Icelandic police have been keeping track of energy consumption locally for abnormal increases without success.
In Tianjin, it was a pattern of highly peculiar electricity usage that attracted the attention of a local grid operator, resulting in the authorities’ confiscation of the suspect mining hardware. Chinese police have not yet responded to the Icelandic enquiry, according to a report from Icelandic news outlet, RUV.
With its cool climate and access to renewable energy, Iceland is considered to be a hotspot for crypto mining. Local industry sources have projected a doubling of the country’s crypto mining energy consumption in 2018, more electricity than the Iceland’s 340,000 residents would use for personal use.
Access to geothermal and hydroelectric power plants makes mining in Iceland potentially more environmentally sustainable than in China’s coal-burning mining sites.
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