U.S. Blocks China-Tied Crypto Miners as 'National Security Risk' Near Nuke Base

President Biden ordered a halt to the MineOne operation near Warren Air Force Base, citing Chinese ownership, foreign technology and proximity to a strategic missile base.

AccessTimeIconMay 13, 2024 at 9:02 p.m. UTC
Updated May 14, 2024 at 5:52 a.m. UTC
  • The White House says a Chinese crypto-mining operation set up shop within a mile of a U.S. nuclear missile base without getting proper clearance.
  • The order to shut it down said it's using foreign-source technology that poses national-security concerns.

President Joe Biden ordered a cryptocurrency mining facility near Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming to halt operations on Monday, calling it a threat to national security.

The White House order said the British Virgin Islands company behind MineOne, which is majority owned by Chinese nationals, must remove all the improvements and mining equipment on the property located within a mile of the military facility in Cheyenne – a base that houses Minuteman III nuclear missiles.

The company, which bought the property in 2022, was accused of acquiring the land and starting work there without filing with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and a tip started an investigation into that acquisition, according to the White House.

The order, which also authorized the U.S. attorney general to "take any steps necessary" to enforce it, cited the "presence of specialized equipment on the property used to conduct cryptocurrency mining operations, some of which is foreign-sourced and presents significant national security concerns," according to a related statement from the Department of the Treasury.

The move "highlights the critical gatekeeper role that CFIUS serves to ensure that foreign investment does not undermine our national security, particularly as it relates to transactions that present risk to sensitive U.S. military installations as well as those involving specialized equipment and technologies,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said in a statement.

MineOne didn't immediately respond to a request for comment sent through the company's website.

Edited by Jesse Hamilton.


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Jesse Hamilton

Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.