President Biden Orders Halt to Bitcoin Mine Near U.S. Missile Base

President Biden has issued an emergency order to stop operations at a bitcoin mining site near a nuclear missile base in Wyoming, citing national security concerns.
President Biden Orders Halt to Bitcoin Mine Near U.S. Missile Base

Key Takeaways

  • President Biden halts bitcoin mining near Warren Air Force Base.
  • CleanSpark purchased the mining site from Chinese-owned MineOne for $19 million.
  • The order marks the first presidential prohibition using expanded CFIUS authority.

President Biden has issued an emergency order halting operations at a bitcoin mining facility near Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, citing national security threats.

The facility, previously owned by MineOne, a company with Chinese ties, was recently acquired by American bitcoin mining company CleanSpark for nearly $19 million.

The executive order mandates the removal of all mining equipment within a mile of the base, emphasizing the site’s foreign-sourced technology and Chinese ownership as primary concerns.

CleanSpark plans to proceed

CleanSpark, unaware of the order before purchasing the properties, plans to proceed with the acquisition despite the new challenges.

A CleanSpark spokesperson stated:

We respect the oversight process and are dedicated to ensuring that our operations bolster national security and benefit economic development.

On May 9, CleanSpark announced the acquisition of two mining sites in Wyoming, planning to deploy China-based Bitmain’s latest generation mining machines and expand the sites by an additional 55 megawatts.

However, the proximity of one site to Warren Air Force Base, housing Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, raised national security alarms.

The sale agreement was signed by Jiaming Li, identified as MineOne’s director, who has held significant roles in various Chinese companies.

The purchase was contingent on government compliance matters, as detailed in Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

CleanSpark supports the order

Tom Wood, a CleanSpark board member with extensive national security experience, supported the executive order, stating:

The presence of a CCP-owned data processing facility near a facility like Warren… is legitimate cause for concern.

This order represents the first use of expanded powers under the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 to prohibit a real estate transaction involving Chinese interests.

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