Washington [US], April 8 (ANI): Referring to bitcoin as a 'Chinese financial weapon', billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel has urged the US government to consider tighter regulations on cryptocurrencies.
Thiel's statements seemed to represent a change of heart for Thiel, who is a major investor in virtual currency ventures as well as in cryptocurrencies themselves, reported the Australian Financial Review (AFR) citing Bloomberg.
"I do wonder whether, at this point, bitcoin should also be thought [of] in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the US. It threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the US dollar," said Thiel on Thursday during an appearance at a virtual event held for members of the Richard Nixon Foundation.
Thiel was joined by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, reported AFR quoting Bloomberg.
During the talk, the billionaire said that he had employees in Google's artificial intelligence division about whether their technology was being used in China's Xinjiang region, where millions of Uyghur Muslims have been detained in internment camps, which some US officials have said amounts to genocide.
"(The answer was) Well, we don't really know--and don't ask any questions. You have this almost magical thinking that by pretending that everything is fine, that's how you engage and have a conversation," he said.
Thiel further said that the US scrutiny of American tech companies should also include Apple, noting that the company makes most of its devices in China, where labour standards are more relaxed than in the US and Europe.
"Apple is probably the one [tech company] that's structurally a real problem for US interests. Apple is the one that has real synergies with China," he said.
He further criticised Facebook for not taking a firm stand on the protests in Hong Kong last year. "There were more employees at Facebook who were born in China than who were born in Hong Kong. And the Chinese nationals actually said that, you know, it was just Western arrogance, and [the company] shouldn't be taking Hong Kong's side... And the rest of the employees at Facebook sort of stayed out of it," he said.
He also slammed Facebook and other tech companies for de-platforming former President Donald Trump, AFR reported citing Bloomberg.
Thiel was a major backer of Trump in 2016 and has provided support to the potential candidacy of JD Vance, an author and conservative political figure who previously worked at a Thiel-backed venture capital fund, in the US Senate. (ANI)