Biden blocks acquisition of land by Chinese Bitcoin mining company

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The President of the USA Biden has blocked the acquisition of land near a Nuclear Missile Base in Wyoming by a Bitcoin Mining company supported by China

The President of the United States Joe Biden has issued an executive order prohibiting MineOne Cloud Computing Investment I L.P., a company connected to Chinese interests, from acquiring property near the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base (Warren AFB) in Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

The decision, announced by the President, highlights concerns for national security related to the proximity of a major military installation and the potential risks posed by the company’s operations.

National security concerns: Biden does not allow a Bitcoin Mining company to be built

The President’s order is based on evidence indicating that MineOne Partners Limited, a company based in the British Virgin Islands and predominantly owned by Chinese citizens, intended to purchase a property within one mile of Warren AFB.

This base is a crucial site for the nuclear missile operations of the United States, hosting intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that constitute a significant part of the country’s strategic deterrence capabilities.

The specific property in question, Lot 1, Block 10 North Range Business Park 3rd Filing, was intended for development by MineOne. 

Since the company’s business model is focused on bitcoin mining, a process that requires significant computational power and energy consumption, its proximity to a crucial defense has raised concerns within the Biden administration.

The President emphasized that the nature of MineOne’s operations, along with its foreign ownership, posed unacceptable risks to national security.

The Francis E. Warren Air Force Base plays a fundamental role in the defense strategy of the United States. Founded at the end of the 19th century and named after the first governor of Wyoming, the base has become a cornerstone of the country’s nuclear deterrence strategy. 

It hosts Minuteman III missiles, which are an integral component of the United States’ nuclear triad, along with submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and strategic bombers.

The geographical location of the base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is strategically significant due to its relative isolation and the protection offered by the surrounding terrain. 

Any potential threat, even those posed indirectly through economic activities such as land ownership and development, is therefore rigorously scrutinized.

Bitcoin Mining and Biden’s positions on foreign investments

Bitcoin mining is a process that requires a lot of resources and large amounts of electrical energy to solve complex mathematical problems, thus validating transactions on the bitcoin network.

This industry has seen exponential growth, especially in regions with low-cost energy resources. However, the proximity of such operations to a sensitive military installation is unprecedented and concerning.

Potential surveillance, espionage, and other activities covered through seemingly innocent commercial activity cannot be ignored. The sophisticated technology and substantial infrastructure required for bitcoin mining could be repurposed for intelligence gathering activities. 

Furthermore, the data centers necessary for these operations could be used to interfere with or collect sensitive information on operations at Warren AFB.

President Biden’s decision reflects a more cautious stance towards foreign investments in the strategic and sensitive sectors of the United States economy. 

This move is part of a series of actions aimed at safeguarding national security from foreign influences that could undermine the strategic interests of the United States. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has been instrumental in identifying and mitigating the risks posed by foreign acquisitions and investments.

The Biden administration has emphasized the need for vigilance against potential economic and security threats from state actors, particularly China. 

This approach is in line with the broader geopolitical tension between the two nations, where economic strategies often intertwine with national security concerns. The proactive measures of the administration highlight the importance of protecting critical infrastructure and maintaining the integrity of national defense capabilities.

Implications of the choice of the US President

The ban on acquiring property near Warren AFB by MineOne sets a precedent for how similar cases may be handled in the future. 

Report to foreign investors, especially those from countries perceived as strategic competitors, that the United States will strictly enforce measures to protect their national security interests.

This decision also raises awareness about the potential dual-use nature of some commercial activities. Although bitcoin mining is not inherently a security threat, the ancillary implications of such operations near critical infrastructure require thorough evaluation and regulatory oversight.

For companies operating in sectors with potential security implications, this development highlights the importance of transparency and compliance with US regulations. It also underscores the need for strategic foresight in planning investments that may intersect with national security interests.

President Biden’s executive order to block the China-backed bitcoin mining company from acquiring land near a key nuclear missile base reflects a decisive action to protect national security. 

This move underscores the administration’s commitment to safeguarding critical military resources and preventing potential threats posed by foreign investments. 

With the continuous evolution of geopolitical dynamics, such measures will probably become more frequent, highlighting the need for vigilance and strategic supervision in national security matters.