All Mine: Thieves Take a Grab at Mining Rigs in Bulgaria
Plans to run a small-scale mining farm failed when thieves broke in and walked away with 21 ASICs.
Thieves broke into a warehouse and stole 21 ASIC with an estimated value of up to 160,000 Euros. The theft happened in a small Bulgarian town near the capital, and there are suspicions for an inside job.
Even more curiously, the machines were stolen from a live mining farm. According to the police report, the room was often left unlocked and open, to cool down the machines, as they were left to run without cooling systems and ran up the temperature.
The latest ASIC models have been in demand, and mid-range mining farms have been built in Bulgarian cities, usually using basements and warehouses.
The ASIC robbery was registered over last weekend, and one of the versions is an inside job. The warehouse was thinly protected and the lock was easily broken. Some believe the sum was over-inflated, at least in the police report.
The latest Bitmain Antminer S9 retails at $2,320 from the official site, but may sell for double that price in Bulgaria. The most powerful machines are in-demand, as Bitcoin mining becomes more competitive. At this point, waiting around for months for machines to arrive is not viable, and buyers are willing to pay a higher price for immediately available machines, instead of risking scams.
Bitcoin is now in for a downward correction in difficulty, which may bring more miners online:
Interesting stuff happening with #bitcoin mining right now.— Bitcoin&Markets (@btcmrkts) February 10, 2018
Bitcoin steady at 6 blks/hr, but difficulty headed for a 9% decrease in over a week.
Bcash currently down to 4 blks/hr in the last 3 hrs. https://t.co/ufRqlLjQX0 https://t.co/DaWG9sRtq6
Can Bulgaria Crash Bitcoin's Price Further?
Bulgaria is one of the crypto-friendly countries of Europe, running 60 full nodes. Recently, a so-called national cryptocurrency was created, but it uses the CryptoNote algorithm similar to Monero. However, not everything has been glitch-free, as local banks refused to service small-scale Bitcoin exchanges.
Bulgarians also have the limited opportunity to buy and sell Bitcoins from several dedicated exchange bureaus, for cash on hand. The currency exchangers have added Bitcoin to traditional assets like foreign currencies, as well as silver and gold bullion.
But the country is more famous for the story of allegedly seizing $3 billion worth of Bitcoins in a crime crackdown operation. At this point, it is still unknown if the Bulgarian government can access or move the 213,519 BTC, but theories are starting to surface:
@mattleising Matt. What do you think about the recent $1B~ in Bitcoin seized? Now Thailand and Bulgaria are both sitting on $1B+ of seized BTC each and it is likely neither wants to get beat to the punch at liquidating. Ppl need know the potential this has to disrupt the market!— John Redding (@RedonRedding) February 11, 2018
In a still far-fetched theory, the seized coins, along with the $1 billion worth of BTC confiscated in Thailand could depress the BTC price further if sold at an auction.