As the lines of force in global geopolitics shift, the US is becoming very wary of bitcoin miners linked to China. Seen as a potential threat to national security, they now face increased surveillance and scrutiny by U.S. authorities. Details.
Are some Chinese Bitcoin miners a threat to American internal security?
They had moved to the USA because China had banned bitcoin mining. However, a Chinese bitcoin mining company established in the USA last year is now the subject of American surveillance. Company officials even claimed to have had to answer questions from certain federal agents.
A report from Friday October 13 revealed that the US government is taking steps to prevent the company from collecting intelligence that could affect national security. In fact, the bitcoin mining company Bit Origin has settled in a very strategic location in Wyoming, the American state most open to cryptocurrencies.
It was set up 1.6 kilometers from a US Air Force base controlling nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. The location is also very close to a Microsoft data center supporting the Pentagon.
Microsoft, which is investing heavily in Web3, has assured that it currently has “no evidence of malicious activity coming from this entity”. She also told the government that the presence of Chinese nationals near one of the three American strategic missile bases was a significant threat.
Cryptocurrencies serving the USA – China standoff
For several American executives, the increase in the number of Chinese bitcoin mining companies in the USA certainly represents a threat. According to the New York Times, these companies are present in at least 12 American states and consume as much electricity as 1.5 million households. The company alone, based in Wyoming, is capable of consuming as much energy as 55,000 American households.
Brian Harrell, a former Department of Homeland Security executive, says these bitcoin mining companies could knowingly cause targeted power outages and launch cyberattacks. It would be enough, he explains, for them to work together and exert “enormous pressure” on the electricity network to wreak havoc.
Recall that on October 3, crypto wallets linked to chemical manufacturers based in China were sanctioned by the Treasury Department. Earlier, in July 2023, crypto company Prometheum came under federal investigation over suspicion of having an “affair with the Chinese government.” Obviously, the USA has a new weapon to fight against China.
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