Bitcoin mining has always been an industry which attracts both legitimate operations and people with less than honest intentions. In Iceland, a group of people recently stole 600 ASIC miners, and the police launched an investigation and made several arrests. One of the suspects has now fled the country to Sweden, although it remains unclear how he escaped prison exactly.
The Iceland Bitcoin Mining Heist
It is evident that people with less than honest intentions often make a lasting impact on the Bitcoin industry as a whole. In the case of a recent hardware heist in Iceland, it’s quickly become apparent that this was a multi-person operation. It is physically impossible for one individual to successfully steal 600 Bitcoin ASIC miners without any help from other thieves or even people working at the facility where all of this went down.
While stealing multiple pieces of Bitcoin mining hardware is not necessarily unprecedented, a theft on this scale is rather unusual. Several dozen pieces of hardware were stolen from a data center in Iceland, which further confirms someone had to have helped the suspect who recently fled the country. The latter person goes by the name of Sindri Thor Stefansson.
Stefansson not only managed to escape prison, but he also boarded a flight from Iceland to Sweden. This was allegedly done using a passport in someone else’s name, which raises all kinds of questions. This only further fuels speculation that there was at least one accomplice involved in this heist, although it is possible that even more people were involved in this scheme.
While Stefansson was kept at a low-security prison, he should not have been able to escape. For some reason, the guards did not report him as missing, so a fair few details are not adding up as of right now. With a total of eleven people having been arrested, Stefansson certainly stands out as a person who has something to hide.
Additionally, one could easily argue that individuals like Stefansson should be kept at prisons with no fences and no access to either telephones or the internet. While stealing Bitcoin mining hardware may not be the worst of crimes, it is still something that should be treated like a major offense. The failure to do so allowed this individual to escape, and no one knows where Stefansson will head next.
How this criminal investigation will pan out in the coming weeks and months remains to be determined. It is evident that Stefansson is just a cog in the machine that is this Bitcoin heist, but one shouldn’t treat this as a minor incident whatsoever. It does not affect the popularity of Iceland as a major Bitcoin mining hub, but it also highlights why cryptocurrency mining will remain a somewhat troubled industry for the time being.