It has been just revealed that the Chinese Bitcoin mines in the US are sparking worries. Check out the latest reports about these below.

Chinese Bitcoin mines in the US

Chinese-operated bitcoin mines in the United States have raised concerns about national security, according to a report by The New York Times.

One such operation is located in close proximity to a Microsoft data center that supports the Pentagon and is also near an Air Force nuclear missile base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The Microsoft team had previously warned a U.S. government committee that these locations could enable the Chinese to conduct “full-spectrum intelligence collection operations.”

Anonymous U.S. government officials informed the NYT that they had been monitoring the Wyoming facility for several months and had taken steps to mitigate any potential intelligence threats.

A company called Bit Origin, which is linked to the Cheyenne mine, has confirmed that it responded to queries from the US federal committee.

Li Jiaming, the president of the Bitcoin mining company, who was previously engaged in the pork processing industry, stated that they had chosen the site after securing an agreement from the local utility company to provide them with power.

The company did not choose the site due to its proximity to the Microsoft data center or the missile base.

Most of these bitcoin mining facilities were established after China banned bitcoin mining in 2021.

According to the New York Times, multiple Bitcoin mines have links to Chinese Communist Party or state-owned entities, hidden behind layers of shell companies.

The Cheyenne site, on the other hand, is not associated with any of those entities.

However, another Chinese company, YZY Capital Holdings, involved in Bitcoin mining, bought a different piece of land near the Microsoft data center. It is controlled by Yuan Qian, a Chinese businessman and Communist Party member, according to the New York Times.

The China connection

The New York Times has identified bitcoin mines in at least 12 states across the US that are either owned or operated by Chinese entities.

These states include Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. Despite laws restricting Chinese land ownership in certain US states due to security concerns, Texas has emerged as a hotspot for significant bitcoin mining operations with Chinese connections.

The Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act, which was signed by Governor Greg Abbott in June 2021, prohibits businesses owned by foreign adversaries from accessing critical infrastructure; however, Chinese-linked bitcoin mining operations continue to thrive, incentivized by lucrative state incentives.

Brian Harrell, a former assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security, has warned that these operations could place an “enormous stress on the grid if the mines worked in concert to wreak havoc.”

Howard Gugel, VP at NERC, the US grid regulator, added that the bitcoin mines are operating in a “gray area.”

We suggest that you check out the original article posted by the online publication The Block. 

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