Biden: Crypto Firm Can't Own Land Near Wyoming Base

Chinese-backed firm ordered to sell site, remove all equipment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 13, 2024 6:30 PM CDT
Biden: Crypto Firm Can't Own Land Near Wyoming Base
The entrance to Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.   (AP Photo/Mead Gruver, File)

President Biden issued an order Monday blocking a Chinese-backed cryptocurrency mining firm from owning land near a Wyoming nuclear missile base, calling its proximity to the base a "national security risk." The order forces the divestment of property operated as a crypto mining facility near the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. MineOne Partners Ltd., a firm partly backed by Chinese nationals, and its affiliates are also required to remove certain equipment on the site. More, from the AP:

  • This comes as the US is slated on Tuesday to issue major new tariffs on electric vehicles, semiconductors, solar equipment, and medical supplies imported from China, according to a US official and another person familiar with the plan.

  • The Monday divestment order was made in coordination with the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States—a little-known but powerful government panel tasked with investigating corporate deals for national security concerns that can force companies to change ownership structures or divest completely from the US.
  • A 2018 law granted CFIUS the authority to review real estate transactions near sensitive sites across the US. MineOne purchased the land that is within one mile of the Air Force base in Cheyenne in 2022, and according to CFIUS, the purchase was not reported to the committee as required until after the panel received a public tip.
  • The order was vague about the specific national security concerns, with the Treasury Department saying only that there were issues with "specialized and foreign-sourced equipment potentially capable of facilitating surveillance and espionage activities" that "presented a significant national security risk." CFIUS directed the sale of the property within 120 days, Within 90 days, the company has to remove all structures and equipment on the site.
(More national security stories.)

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