Biden Administration Halts China-Backed Crypto Mining Project in Wyoming

Biden Administration Halts China-Backed Crypto Mining Project in Wyoming

In a significant move, the United States government, under President Joe Biden’s administration, has issued an order blocking a Chinese-backed cryptocurrency mining company from proceeding with its plans to establish a mining operation in Wyoming.

The order, signed by President Biden on May 13, mandates MineOne Cloud Computing Investment and its partners, majority-owned by Chinese nationals, to halt the construction of a crypto mine near the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Citing potential threats to national security, the order requires the firm to divest the property and remove all installed equipment within 120 days.

The decision comes after concerns were raised by tech giant Microsoft in October 2023, suggesting that the site could pose risks as a potential intelligence collection operation. Microsoft’s alert prompted an investigation by the Federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which identified national security risks associated with the mining site’s proximity to strategic military installations.

The move to block MineOne’s operations aligns with broader efforts by the U.S. government to address national security concerns stemming from Chinese-backed entities’ involvement in critical infrastructure projects, including cryptocurrency mining. The presence of Chinese-owned mining farms in the U.S., attracted by cheap electricity rates, has raised alarms regarding potential security risks.

This action also comes amid the Biden administration’s recent crackdown on the cryptocurrency mining sector, exemplified by the imposition of a 30% tax on miners’ electricity use. While aimed at addressing environmental concerns, this move has faced criticism, particularly from Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis, who warns of its potential to undermine the sector’s viability.

The Biden administration’s decision to block MineOne’s crypto mining project underscores the government’s commitment to safeguarding national security interests amidst the evolving landscape of digital asset operations.

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