Biden Orders China-Backed Crypto Miner to Sell Land Near Nuclear Base Due To Espionage Risks

By Thea Felicity

May 14, 2024 11:32 AM EDT

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The Biden administration has mandated that a Chinese-backed cryptocurrency mining company, MineOne, sell its land near a Wyoming nuclear missile base following a government investigation citing national security concerns.

Per CNBC, President Joe Biden issued the order on Monday. He stated that MineOne's operations, located within a mile of the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, are already equipped with specialized and foreign-sourced equipment that China can use for surveillance and espionage activities. 

This action followed an investigation by the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a government body that reviews corporate deals for national security risks.

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The Crypto Mining Company's Espionage Risks

In 2018, a law was passed that allows CFIUS to scrutinize property transactions near sensitive US sites, including the Warren Air Force Base. The investigation began after a public tip-off, as MineOne's purchase was not initially filed with CFIUS. 

The administration found "credible evidence" that MineOne, majority-owned by Chinese nationals, could impair US national security but has not revealed the details yet.

As a result, MineOne must divest from the land within 120 days and remove specific improvements and equipment. This directive forms part of a major crackdown on Chinese companies in the US ahead of the presidential elections and amid escalating U.S.-China tensions.

MineOne has yet to provide a statement.

US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen emphasized CFIUS's role in protecting US national security through regulating foreign investments. It compares this action and other measures taken by the US, such as forcing TikTok to separate from its Chinese parent company and planning to impose additional tariffs on imports from China. 

As a response, China has also intensified its scrutiny of US companies.

VCPost reported that the country already enacted stricter laws regarding state secrets and limited sales of US tech products, like those from Micron, to its crucial infrastructure. 

READ MORE: FCC Faces Funding Shortfall in Effort to Remove Chinese Tech Giants Huawei, ZTE From Networks

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