The 600 computers used to mine Bitcoin (BTC) that were stolen in Iceland as part of what has come to be known as “Big Bitcoin Heist,” might be in China. Authorities in the country have written to their counterparts in China, requesting for additional information about 600 mining computers recently confiscated, in a swoop on an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation.
Largest Power Theft
Chinese authorities seized the machines after detecting unusual high electricity consumption in an apartment in Tianjin Municipality. Eight power fans were also seized from the operation. Officials say they were running the largest power theft in recent years in the country.
Individuals running the operations reportedly short-circuited their electricity meter thereby avoiding receiving a bill of the energy used. It potentially could have cost hundreds of thousands of Yuan’s. Bitcoin mining is a power-intensive process which requires powerful machines and computers to run 24 hours a day to solve complex mathematical puzzles.
It is still unclear whether the computers seized as part of the Tianjin operations are in any way related to computers stolen in Iceland sometime between December and January. Three of the four burglaries that led to the loss of the computers occurred in December and the other in January.
The police did not make the news public immediately in the hope of catching the thieves. However, investigations have failed to bear any fruit that would show the locations of the computers. As a result, the owner issued a $60,000 reward for any information that would lead to their recovery.
‘Big Bitcoin Heist’ Mastermind
The mastermind behind the “Big Bitcoin Heist,” Sindri Thor Stefansson, is under arrest in the Netherlands. The arrest comes after escaping a low-security prison in Iceland. Stefansson could be the mastermind of the $2 million heist, an accusation he vehemently denies.
Stefansson reportedly walked out of prison and took a taxi to a nearby international airport. He then flew out of the country in a plane also carrying the nation’s prime minister. How he was able to book a plane and also gain access to documents needed to fly is puzzling. Investigators believe there was an accomplice that helped plan the escape.
So far, eleven people are under arrest in connection with the “Big Bitcoin Heist” In Iceland. We still await to see if they will shed more light on whether the machines are in Iceland or they ended up in China.