Biden orders removal of Chinese cryptocurrency near missile base


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President Joe Biden said that entities owned by Chinese nationals ‘could take actions that threaten the national security of the United States.

US President Joe Biden has signed an order barring a cryptocurrency mining company with ties to China from continuing to use land near a Wyoming nuclear missile defense base.

Issued by the White House on May 13, the order compels MineOne Cloud Computing Investment and its partners to sell property operating as a cryptocurrency mining facility near Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Biden cited national security concerns as the reason for ordering the company to relinquish its property rights.

There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that MineOne Partners Limited, a British Virgin Islands company ultimately majority-owned by Chinese nationals, could take actions that threaten the national security of the United States.

MineOne purchased the property in mid-2022 and made improvements to use the space for cryptocurrency mining near the US Air Force base. According to the order, this military facility is not only a strategic mission base but also houses intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The company and its subsidiaries must also remove all equipment installed at the site, following their earlier improvements. The order also prohibits companies with ties to China from accessing the site, which is located less than a mile from the base.

The company must sell the property within 120 days of the order’s issuance and is prohibited from transferring it to third parties.

Microsoft, which has a data center nearby, had previously issued warnings about this specific site.

The location could help the Chinese ‘conduct full-spectrum intelligence-gathering operations,’ according to a Microsoft report to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) from August 2022, as reported by a 2023 New York Times investigation.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who chairs the committee, stated that the order compelling MineOne to sell its land ‘underscores the critical watchdog role CFIUS plays in ensuring that foreign investment does not compromise national security.

MineOne raised more than $20 million to establish its first investment fund within one month in 2021. Since its inception in October 2021, the fund has actively attracted investments from US institutional investors and high net worth individuals, as stated in the announcement at the time.

The Biden administration had previously intensified its crackdown on the US bitcoin mining industry, citing China’s restrictive measures as a cautionary example in its fight against cryptocurrencies.

In China, the government sharply curtailed cryptocurrency mining in 2021, triggering an exodus of mining operations, many of which relocated to the United States soon after.

The latest White House order was issued just a day before the Biden administration is scheduled to significantly increase duties on several Chinese imports, including electric vehicles.

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