Officials within the US government have reportedly been monitoring some cryptocurrency mining operations linked to China.
According to an October 13 report from the New York Times, several Bitcoin (BTC) data centers located in the United States could be… tracking directly to the Chinese government, raising concerns about operations in close proximity to military bases and other areas associated with national security. One location reportedly being monitored by authorities was a mining operation in Wyoming near a Microsoft data center that supports some of the Pentagon’s operations.
“Microsoft has no direct indications of malicious activities by this entity,” the company said in a report on the operation. “However, pending further discoveries, we suggest the possibility that the computing power of the cryptocurrency mining operation is at industrial level, along with the presence of an unspecified number of Chinese nationals in direct proximity to Microsoft’s data center and one of China’s three strategic missile bases.” . “The United States provides significant threat vectors.”
Bit Origin, which converted the infrastructure from a pork processing facility into a cryptocurrency data center, reportedly chose the location because of an agreement with local utility providers rather than its proximity to a Microsoft facility. The company moved its operations from Indiana to Wyoming in September, and mentioned It had 3,200 workers deployed to produce a hash rate of 320 petahashes per second as of September 30.
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The report highlighted some of the ramifications of establishing mining operations linked to the Chinese government or some citizens amid political tensions between the United States and China. Many mining companies fled China in 2021 as the government banned their operations, forcing some to relocate to US territory and cryptocurrency-friendly regions such as Texas and Wyoming.
Several US authorities have targeted individuals or companies linked to China through cryptocurrencies. On October 3, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on cryptocurrency wallets allegedly linked to the production of the drug fentanyl, which included several chemical manufacturers in China. In July, allegations that cryptocurrency company Promethium had ties to the Chinese government led to calls for an investigation by six members of Congress.
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