There seems to be no end to the story of the Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware that got stolen at the onset of this year. However, Icelandic media outlet RUV reported that they might be newly located in China.
An inquiry has now been issued to the Chinese authorities by the Icelandic police after the news about the seizure of 600 Bitcoin mining devices in Tianjin city broke in late April.
According to RUV, the Chinese police haven’t given a response to the inquiry made by the Icelandic Police, but one person has been detained, and another five people are currently being investigated.
The Burglary Story
There were three burglaries in December 2017 and January 2018, at data centers in Iceland, and the number & size of seized mining devices in China exactly matches that of the ones missing in Iceland.
In February, the Icelandic Police had brought in 10 people for questioning, of which a couple of Icelanders aged in their 20s and 30s were detained as suspects on the theft case. One of them, however, now has an international arrest warrant, following his escape to Sweden in mid-April, from prison in Iceland.
An Iceland policeman suggested that everything points in the direction of organized crime. He added that:
“the thieves may have wanted to use the stolen equipment to mine, or create, bitcoin – a potentially lucrative affair but one that requires advanced and expensive equipment”.
The missing mining equipment was stolen from data centers in Borgarnes on Iceland’s west coast, and Reykjanesbær near the Reykjavik airport. The missing mining equipment which is valued nearly 200 million Kronur is still being sought for by investigators.
The police in Iceland have not been successful in their lookout for irregular energy consumption. However, a pattern of abnormal electricity usage was noticed by a local grid operator in Tianjin, leading to the subsequent seizure of the mining hardware by the authorities.
The China and Iceland Mining Advantage
It has been predicted that the country’s crypto mining energy might be doubled this year – meaning that more electricity will be consumed by crypto mining than the Icelandic people use to power their homes.
Mining in Iceland is an environmentally sustainable option, due to the ease of access to hydroelectric and geothermal power plants. China, on the other hand, has been a long-time superpower in crypto mining, being home to the world’s largest miners. News broke, however, this January that plans are being put in place to increase China’s regional regulations, limiting the future rates of power consumption for miners.