Biden orders removal of Chinese-owned crypto miner near missile base

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Entities owned by Chinese nationals “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” said President Joe Biden.

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Biden orders removal of Chinese-owned crypto miner near missile base

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United States President Joe Biden has signed an order preventing a China-linked crypto mining firm from continuing to use land near a Wyoming nuclear missile base.

The order, released by the White House on May 13, forces MineOne Cloud Computing Investment and its partners to divest property operated as a crypto mining facility near the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Biden cited national security concerns for the order to rescind the firm’s 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 […] might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

MineOne acquired the property in June 2022 and then made improvements to use it for crypto mining close to the Air Force base. The military installation is a strategic missile base and home to intercontinental ballistic missiles, the order read.

The firm and its affiliates must also remove all equipment installed on the site after the improvements. The order also prohibits Chinese-linked entities from further access to the site, which is less than a mile from the base.

The company has 120 days from the date of the order to sell the property and is not permitted to transfer it to third parties.

Map showing the proximity of the MinerOne site, the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base and the Microsoft data center. Source: Google Maps

Red flags regarding this particular site have been raised in the past by tech giant Microsoft, which has a data center nearby.

The location could allow the Chinese to “pursue full-spectrum intelligence collection operations,” the Microsoft team wrote in an August 2022 report to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), according to a 2023 New York Times investigation.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who also serves as the chairperson of the committee, said the order to force MineOne to sell the land “highlights the critical gatekeeper role that CFIUS serves to ensure that foreign investment does not undermine our national security.”

MineOne raised more than $20 million for its first fund within a month in 2021. Since it launched the fund in October 2021, it was “actively subscribed” by U.S. institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals, according to the announcement at the time.

Cointelegraph reached out to MineOne for comments but did not receive an immediate response. 

Related: China has a Trojan Horse in US Bitcoin mining infrastructure

The Biden administration has previously ordered a crackdown on the U.S. Bitcoin (BTC) mining industry, citing China as an example to follow as part of its ongoing war on crypto.

Crypto mining was heavily curtailed by the ruling regime in China in 2021, initiating an exodus of mining operations, many of which ended up across the pond in the United States.

The latest White House order comes just a day before the Biden administration is set to sharply increase tariffs on several Chinese imports, including electric vehicles.

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