China may use the increasingly popular Bitcoin to undermine United States security, says a cofounder of digital transaction platform Paypal who backs former U.S. president Donald Trump.
American technological giants Apple, Facebook and Google also came in for criticism. Peter Thiel, an early investor of Facebook, said the social media platform was “too close” to China and failed to confront the country or stand up for core values.
It did not voice support for Hong Kong during massive pro-democracy protests in 2019, he reportedly said.
Thiel is a known loyalist to Trump and is behind the setting up of big data analytics player Palantir, which was involved in the killing of Al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden in 2011.
“Even though I’m sort of a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether at this point Bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S., where it threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the U.S. dollar, and China wants to do things to weaken it,” Thiel on Tuesday told a virtual event of the Richard Nixon Foundation, CNBC reported.
Exponential growth in the cryptocurrency’s value has swelled its market capitalization in recent months. It is now a clear front-runner among cryptocurrencies, which recently surpassed US$2 trillion in total market value for the first time, according to market analysis firms Blockfolio and CoinGecko.
At some US$1 trillion in value, Bitcoin is also the third-largest currency in the world behind the U.S. dollar and the euro, a recent research report published by Deutsche Bank shows. Thiel said Washington should be highly guarded against geopolitical risks associated with future growth of the Bitcoin, particularly if it would affect the status of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency.
During the virtual forum, Thiel also criticized Google for working with Chinese institutions to develop artificial intelligence. He claimed that the company could be indirectly supporting the Chinese military in advancing top-notch technology.
He pointed the finger at smartphone maker Apple for relying heavily on the Chinese supply chain. ″Apple is probably the one that’s structurally a real problem, because the whole iPhone supply chain gets made from China,” Thiel said. “Apple is one that has real synergies with China.”
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