Although tech investor Peter Thiel has made very good money from Bitcoin investments so far, he is now calling for stronger crypto surveillance by the U.S. – and harshly criticizing China as well as several big tech companies. There is no doubt that BTC is a threat to banks, you can even borrow money in BTC nowadays.
The price of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has recently risen again significantly. Tech venture capitalist Peter Thiel (53) is also benefiting strongly from the price development. The German-born Paypal founder and Facebook investor invested around 20 million dollars in the cryptocurrency through his “Founders Fund” in 2017. Even in early 2018, when the bitcoin price was still around $14,000, his investment was reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Today, if Thiel has not sold in the meantime, it should be worth more than four times that. Now Thiel could sit back and quietly enjoy his increase in value. But that’s definitely not the pace of the feisty investor, who turned his back on Silicon Valley three years ago with great pomp. On the contrary, in an online conversation hosted by a conservative foundation, Thiel now called on the U.S. government to consider stricter regulations for cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin threatens the U.S. dollar
While he is “pro crypto” and “pro Bitcoin to the max,” Thiel stated, according to a report by Bloomberg news agency. But the currency could undermine the U.S., Thiel elaborated – stating, “I wonder if Bitcoin at this point in time should also be considered in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.,” Thiel said at an online roundtable hosted by the Richard Nixon Foundation on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.
The cryptocurrency threatens central bank money, especially the American dollar. Since the U.S. dollar is still the world’s reserve currency, it has given the U.S. advantages for decades, which U.S. financial policymakers like to comment on to foreign colleagues with the phrase “our currency, your problem.”
But this supremacy of the U.S. dollar could crumble: If China were to have built up large bitcoin stocks, possibly due to a geopolitical perspective, “the U.S. should be asking a little tougher questions about how exactly that works,” Thiel said.
Thiel, who holds U.S. and New Zealand citizenship in addition to his German citizenship, has frequently criticized U.S. companies doing business with China in the past. At the online event, he spoke with Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s ex-secretary of state, and Robert O’Brien, one of Trump’s early national security advisers, among others.
U.S. should also investigate Apple more closely
In the interview, Thiel also renewed his criticism of Google. He accused the IT giant of possibly misusing its technology to oppress Uyghurs in China. He said he had asked Google employees in the artificial intelligence department whether Google technology was being used in Xinjiang province.
Their response, Thiel said, was that they didn’t really know and that he shouldn’t ask questions. “There is this almost magical thinking that all you have to do is pretend that everything is fine – and that will get you into the conversation,” Thiel said.
Google told Bloomberg in a statement that it does not cooperate with China’s military and is proud to work with the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, in many areas, such as cybersecurity, recruiting and healthcare.
Thiel’s criticism was not limited to Google, however. He also suggested that the U.S. government should take a closer look at IT giant Apple. After all, he said, it manufactures most of its devices in China, where labor standards are much more lax than in the U.S. and Europe. “Apple is probably the tech company that is structurally a real problem,” Thiel explained. “Apple is that company that has real synergies with China.”
In the interview, he accused Facebook of “de-platforming” President Trump – a reference to the social network’s decision to suspend Trump’s account after storming the Capitol in early January. “That was downright censorship,” Thiel said. Doing that with the president of the United States “feels like the Rubicon has really been crossed.”
Thiel’s appearance with Pompeo, Bloomberg writes, could have implications for the U.S. presidential election in four years. Pompeo is considered a possible Republican candidate. Thiel’s appearance signaled his support for people in Trump’s entourage, Bloomberg said. Thiel was one of Trump’s major donors in his 2016 presidential campaign.