U.S. Pentagon officials are keeping close tabs on a Wyoming-based Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) operation owned by Chinese interests amid fears of potential national security risks.The Bitcoin mine, located opposite a Microsoft Corporation data center and near a military base, sparked concerns due to the owners’ connections with China, according to a report by The New York Times.
The proximity of the operation to key infrastructure has raised fears that it could enable the Chinese government to undertake intelligence operations aimed at the data center and the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, which houses Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, or ICBMs.The operation came under the radar of the U.S. government after a team at Microsoft submitted a report to the Committee on Foreign Investment in August 2022, noting potential risks. Despite the absence of direct evidence of harmful activities, Microsoft cautioned about possible threats stemming from the operation’s computing power and the presence of Chinese nationals in close proximity to the data center and the missile base.
“Microsoft has no direct indications of malicious activities by this entity,” Microsoft wrote, as per NYT.“However, pending further discovery, we suggest the possibility that the computing power of an industrial-level cryptomining operation, along with the presence of an unidentified number of Chinese nationals in direct proximity to Microsoft’s Data Center and one of three strategic-missile bases in the US, provides significant threat vectors.”
The Bitcoin mine in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is one of several owned by Chinese nationals in the U.S. following China’s ban on Bitcoin mining in 2021. The operation in question is linked to multiple companies, including Bit Origin Ltd, previously a pork-processing company registered in the Cayman Islands.
Bit Origin’s president, Li Jiaming, maintained that the proximity to Microsoft’s data center or the military base was not a factor in choosing the location. Rather, it was selected because a local utility company agreed to cooperate with Bit Origin.
source : https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/chinese-owned-bitcoin-mine-in-wyoming-raises-national-security-concerns-us-officials-warn:#