Chinese bitcoin mining operations in the United States have raised concerns over national security, according to an article by The New York Times (NYT). The locations of these mining facilities, including one in Wyoming, could potentially allow the Chinese government to conduct intelligence collection operations. Anonymous US government officials have been monitoring the Wyoming facility and have taken steps to mitigate any intelligence threats. Bit Origin, a company linked to the Cheyenne mine, confirmed that it responded to queries from a US federal committee. The site was chosen because of an agreement with the local utility company for power, rather than the proximity to the Microsoft data center or missile base. While the Cheyenne site is not implicated, the NYT identified Chinese-owned or operated bitcoin mines in multiple states. Texas, in particular, has become a prominent location for bitcoin mining with Chinese connections, despite legislation restricting Chinese land ownership for security reasons. The Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act prohibits foreign-owned businesses from accessing critical infrastructure, but Chinese-linked bitcoin mining operations continue to thrive due to state incentives. Former officials raised concerns about the strain these mining operations put on the power grid. Many mining facilities use machines from the major Chinese manufacturer Bitmain, which has been shipping significantly more machines to the US since China’s recent ban on crypto mining.
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