The White House has ordered the Chinese owners of a cryptomining data center near a US nuclear missile base to shut down and sell the facility.

President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Monday that compels MineOne, the owner of the data center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to cease operations at the site on national security grounds.

MineOne has been ordered to shut down its Cheyenne crypto data center – Suphansa Subruayying/Getty Images

It must remove all mining equipment from the facility over the next three months, and sell the data center within the next 120 days, per the terms of the order.

The data center is located just a mile from the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, which houses Minuteman III nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles.

President Biden’s order says that because MineOne is majority-owned by Chinese nationals, running a data center so near the base could pose a security risk.

“The proximity of the foreign-owned real estate to a strategic missile base and key element of America’s nuclear triad, and the presence of specialized and foreign-sourced equipment potentially capable of facilitating surveillance and espionage activities, presents a national security risk to the United States,” the order says.

The Cheyenne data center was announced in 2022 by Bit Origin, a Chinese food company that slaughtered, sold, and delivered pork before pivoting to crypto. It became a partner in MineOne, which has run the facility since it launched last year. Bit Origin also operates crypto data centers in the US states of Georgia and Indiana.

An investment of $3 million was made in the Cheyenne site to set up a data center with 75MW capacity. However, the New York Times reported last year that Microsoft, which also has data centers nearby, had reported the MineOne site to the US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), raising fears that it may be a security risk.

A CFIUS investigation followed, leading to the executive order being issued. MineOne has yet to comment publicly on the situation.