Biden Orders Closure of China-Backed Crypto Mine Near Air Force Base

( – President Biden has ordered the closure of a cryptocurrency mine in Wyoming. In an executive decree, the President demanded that MineOne Partners Limited and its affiliates near Francis E. Warren Air Force Base be forced to close and sell off their cryptocurrency. The White House said the company posed a security threat to the United States.

Documents indicate that MineOne, near Cheyenne, is majority-owned by Chinese nationals, and the President’s order stated that it made recent property changes to enable an expansion into specialized cryptocurrency mining. The operation is based around one mile from the Air Force Base.

The executive order stated that the proximity of the foreign-owned real estate to a facility connected to America’s nuclear military operations and the presence of equipment potentially capable of conducting “surveillance and espionage activities” was a threat that warranted enforced closure.

In 2022, in a report to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, tech giant Microsoft, which also owns a facility nearby, warned the government that China could “pursue full-spectrum intelligence collection operations” from the Wyoming plant.

MineOne reportedly acquired the land in 2022, but the purchase was not immediately registered with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). A member of the public later informed the committee of the transaction, and CFIUS determined that there were notable national security implications. Subsequent inquiries revealed that the member of the public was a Microsoft representative.

CFIUS is a powerful bipartisan committee chaired by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and comprised of lawmakers from various departments, including the Justice and Energy Departments. Its role is to investigate concerns related to foreign investments in the US economy and the potential dangers they may pose. It has the power to review property transactions near sensitive sites such as military installations.

It could previously only investigate investments that resulted in controlling stakes in firms, but the Trump administration extended this to cover all foreign investments.

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