Biden Orders Chinese-Owned Cryptocurrency Mine Near F. E. Warren To Shut Down

Tucker Fagan, former commander of F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, said the decision to shut down the Chinese-owned cryptocurrency mine near the base was the right call. “We live in a very dangerous world and it's not getting safer” he said.

Renée Jean

May 14, 20248 min read

A bitcoin mining facility near F.E. Warren Air Force Base just west of Cheyenne.
A bitcoin mining facility near F.E. Warren Air Force Base just west of Cheyenne. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

A Chinese-owned cryptocurrency mine that set up a mile away from F.E. Warren Air Force Base is a national security risk and must shut down and sell out, according to an executive order issued by the Biden administration. 

President Joe Biden on Monday afternoon issued an executive order that requires offshore cryptocurrency company MineOne Partners Limited, as well as any related MineOne entities, to immediately cease operation, remove all equipment and improvements, and transfer ownership of their facility to an approved buyer.

The order gives the company 120 calendar days to complete the transfer of its real estate, and to certify that transfer in writing to the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS).

The order notes that CFIUS was never notified by the company — as it should have been — that a Chinese-owned cryptocurrency mining operation had set up near F. E. Warren. Instead, CFIUS found out through a tip from a member of the general public. 

The individual or individuals who tipped CFIUS off were not identified. 

F.E. Warren Air Force Base is a strategic missile base and home to the Minutemen III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, which are a key element of the nation’s nuclear triad.

Biden’s order said there is “credible evidence” that suggests MineOne Partners Limited and its associated subsidiaries could “take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

The order also states that CFIUS determined that a negotiated agreement with the facility would not work to mitigate the national security risks arising from having the cryptocurrency mining operation — essentially a huge supercomputer capable of rapid number crunching and analysis — so close to F. E. Warren. 

Cowboy State Daily reached out to F. E. Warren Air Force Base and was referred to a military spokesman who said they would have no comment on the matter.

Red Lights Are Flashing

The world has been changing around America for a while now, retired Air Force Colonel Tucker Fagan, once the commander of the base, told Cowboy State Daily Tuesday morning.

“The FBI, Director (Christopher) Wray is saying, there’s a red light flashing,” Fagan said. “It is, and it’s stuff like this.”

Fagan, who also served as the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Nuclear Section under President Ronald Reagan, said that “stuff” isn’t just setting up a supercomputer right by a military base, but it’s also things like sending a spy balloon sailing over the United States, and making public appearances with Russia and promising not to interfere with its invasion of the Ukraine. 

“Look at what China’s doing in the South China Sea,” he said. “And in countries throughout Africa and the Middle East. China stands for the central Kingdom, and that’s who they think they are.”

As someone with a military background, Fagan believes there are ample signals from the world that it is time for America to keep tabs on who is buying what property where, particularly if they are countries not friendly to the United States.

“We live in a very dangerous world that doesn’t look like it’s getting any safer,” he said. “So, the investment of this country and weaponry to thwart an aggressive Chinese government, and an aggressive North Korean government, and an aggressive Russian government is absolutely required.” 

Providing for the common defense is a primary objective of coming together in a government, as written in the Constitution.

“So that is what we need to be doing is looking at what things we need to protect the United States and our interests and our allies,” Fagan said. “We have adversaries who are becoming more aggressive.”

People coming into the country with money to buy land and interests in the United States don’t always have the best interests of America at heart, Fagan said.

“We’re kind of like mesmerized for some crazy reason,” he said. “Because we think, ‘No, you’ll see us better this way.’ But they don’t.”

Delegation Reaction

Wyoming’s Congressional delegation agreed. 

“The CFIUS exists for cases such as this,” Rep. Harriet Hagemen told Cowboy State Daily in an email. “I have supported legislation to include USDA in CFIUS to prevent the Chinese Communist Party’s ownership of our land.”

Senator Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, likewise believes that having Chinese companies set up near military bases is a concern. 

“Sen. Lummis cosponsored legislation to prohibit our adversaries from buying up farmland near military bases in the past, and continues to work with her colleagues to protect the Cowboy State from foreign interference,” her office told Cowboy State Daily.

Previous Warning Bells

It’s not the first time MineOne Partners Limited and its associated affiliates have been mentioned as a potential security risk. 

Cheyenne-based Bison Blockchain’s Sean Murphy had warned Wyoming lawmakers of a “Chinese” takeover in Wyoming. He told lawmakers that a conglomerate of about eight entities run by Chinese nationals with varying levels of connections back to China, had deliberately pushed his company out, not long after the facility broke ground in Oct. 2022.

Following that in May 2023, Bison Blockchain filed a $22 million lawsuit against the companies, who are registered in Delaware and the Cayman Islands, accusing it of breach of contract and other misdeeds.

Murphy estimated that the facility could run 10,000 to 15,000 bitcoin miners, and Bison Blockchain had agreed to  pay the state $1 per month per miner. That would have represented state tax revenue between $1 to $2 million over a 10-year lease, according to Murphy’s estimates. 

What Is A Cryptocurrency Mining Operation?

Bitcoin mining is a computer-intensive process that involves running trillions of cryptographic formulas every second. 

About every 10 minutes, a supercomputer network will generate enough transactions to make what is called a “block.” 

That’s an encrypted package of transactions that is tamper resistant. Entering that block into the record — a blockchain — earns a reward. 

It takes a fairly powerful computers, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (AISC), to compete with others doing the same calculations and thus earn this reward.

It’s become a multibillion-dollar industry, and most cryptocurrency miners have warehouses full of these ASICs.

We’re All Responsible

The fact that a member of the public tipped off CFIUS that a national security threat was presenting itself by FE Warren made Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Dale Steenbergen proud.

“This is a critical issue that is getting increasingly more intense,” Steenbergen told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “We’re all going to have to be diligent and make sure that we get these folks pushed out. They’re not here to do us good.”

Steenbergen said Chambers of Commerce across America have been told by the National Security Agency since 2017 that they need to be looking for such issues and red flagging them.

“The Air Force has been pushing that with us to be diligent in this,” he said. “So, if you’re the enemy, and you wish to do us harm, you are not welcome in our state or our community.”

Because of that, Steenbergen made it a priority to get legislative help with keeping out foreign interests that might wish to do America harm.

“We worked with the legislature to get Senate File 77 passed,” he said. “The state had refused to do anything about it last year, but this year we did get that passed.”

Wyoming has always been a business friendly state Steenbergen added, but the present-day world means more caution must be exercised on all levels.

“Wyoming has always been a very conservative, mind your own business kind of a state,” he said. “But in some ways, that allows companies to hide who they really are, and we just can’t afford that as a nation anymore.

“China is trying to get in our backyard around our military facilities, and they are our near peer competitor, and we have to deal with that.”

Gordon Agrees

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon issued a statement late Tuesday morning agreeing with the administration's decision.

“I am acutely aware and have been monitoring the concerns of surrounding property owners, as well as the potential threats to national security that this operation posed," the statement reads. "I am pleased that the Administration recognized the potential threat and took steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of Wyoming residents. Protection of our infrastructure remains paramount to protecting our national security and must always be our highest priority."

I am also grateful to Senator Nethercott for sponsoring SF077 -Homeland defense-infrastructure reporting and investigating to help protect Wyoming's critical infrastructure from foreign threats. I signed this bill, effective July 1, because it provides clear guidance and support to counties, under the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, to investigate land sales near critical infrastructure.” 

Renée Jean can be reached at

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Renée Jean

Business and Tourism Reporter