National Security Concerns Arise as Chinese Bitcoin Mining Operates in Wyoming

A Chinese Bitcoin mine operating in Wyoming has raised concerns about national security due to its close proximity to a Microsoft data center and a U.S. Air Force base.

This mine is part of a growing trend of Chinese companies setting up Bitcoin mining operations in the U.S., which has sparked fears of potential espionage or disruption of the electrical grid.

Located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the mine is linked to five companies that share the same address in Manhattan. One of these companies, Bit Origin Ltd, was previously a Chinese pork-processing company and is registered in the Cayman Islands.

However, none of these companies have been found to have direct ties to the Chinese government or Communist Party.

The mine’s close proximity to a secure Microsoft data center and the F.E. Warren Air Force Base, home to the 90th Missile Wing, has raised concerns about potential security threats.

In a report to the Committee on Foreign Investment, Microsoft stated that while there were no direct indications of malicious activities by the entity, the computing power of an industrial-level crypto-mining operation (and the presence of an unidentified number of Chinese nationals nearby) could pose significant threat vectors.

The energy consumption of these Bitcoin mines is another cause for concern. Collectively, they use enough energy to power 1.5 million homes. At full capacity, the Cheyenne mine alone would require enough electricity to power 55,000 houses.

This vast power consumption, coupled with the ability of Bitcoin mines to switch on or off at a moment’s notice, could potentially disrupt the delicate power grid.

U.S. government officials have been monitoring the Wyoming operation for months. Measures have been taken to mitigate potential intelligence collection at the site, although details of these measures have not been disclosed. The mining company has also responded to queries from the federal investment committee.

In addition to the Microsoft data center and the Air Force base, the Wyoming mine is also located near the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, which provides high-power computing to atmospheric and weather researchers, adding another layer of strategic importance to the location.

The situation in Wyoming serves as a reminder of the potential security risks posed by foreign-owned Bitcoin mines. It is crucial that the U.S. remains vigilant and proactive in safeguarding national security as China’s presence in the Bitcoin mining industry grows.

This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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