Biden Directs Removal of Chinese Crypto Mining Operation Near Missile Site

Last Updated on May 14, 2024

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Key Takeaways:

  • President Biden Orders Shutdown: President Joe Biden has issued a directive to shut down the operations of MineOne Cloud Computing Investment, a crypto mining company linked to Chinese nationals, citing national security concerns due to its proximity to a Wyoming nuclear missile site.
  • Divestment and Dismantlement Required: The company must divest the property and dismantle any equipment installed for crypto mining operations within 120 days, ensuring no transfer to third-party entities.
  • Broader Regulatory Context: This action is part of broader U.S. measures to regulate Bitcoin mining and comes ahead of new tariffs on Chinese imports, indicating heightened U.S.-China trade and national security tensions.

President Joe Biden has implemented a directive to halt operations of a crypto mining company linked to China, situated near a Wyoming nuclear missile site.

Announced on May 13 by the White House, this directive targets MineOne Cloud Computing Investment, ordering the divestment of land operated as a crypto mining facility near the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Citing significant national security risks, President Biden stated, “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that MineOne Partners Limited, a British Virgin Islands company ultimately majority owned by Chinese nationals […] might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

Acquired by MineOne in June 2022, the property was upgraded for crypto mining operations in proximity to the strategic Air Force base, which hosts intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The order demands that MineOne and any affiliated entities dismantle all equipment installed following the upgrades and prohibits any further access to the site by entities linked to China.

This site is notably less than a mile from the base.

The company is required to dispose of the property within 120 days from the order’s issuance, with explicit instructions against transferring it to third parties.

Concerns about the site were previously flagged by Microsoft, which operates a nearby data center.

In a 2022 report to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Microsoft warned that the location could serve as a platform for comprehensive intelligence-gathering operations by the Chinese.

This concern was highlighted in a New York Times investigation in 2023.

“The directive underscores the critical gatekeeper role that CFIUS serves to ensure that foreign investment does not undermine our national security,” stated U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who also chairs CFIUS.

The scrutiny on MineOne comes amidst broader measures by the Biden administration, which has been actively regulating the U.S. Bitcoin mining sector.

This crackdown aligns with previous actions, such as the Chinese government’s significant restrictions on crypto mining in 2021, which led to a widespread migration of mining operations to the U.S.

This latest directive from the White House precedes an impending increase in tariffs on several Chinese imports, including electric vehicles, signaling escalating tensions in trade and national security concerns between the two nations.

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