Bitcoin heist: 600 powerful computers taken in Iceland

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — About 600 computers used to “mine” bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been stolen from data centers in Iceland in what police say is the biggest series of thefts ever in the North Atlantic island nation.

Some 11 people were arrested, including a security guard, in what Icelandic media have dubbed the “Big Bitcoin Heist.” A judge at the Reykjanes District Court Friday ordered two people to remain in custody.

The powerful computers, which have not yet been found, are worth almost $2 million. But if the stolen equipment is used for its original purpose — to create new bitcoins — the thieves could turn a massive profit in an untraceable currency without ever selling the items.

Bitcoin is a kind of digital money that isn’t tied to a bank or a government.