Bitcoin investor and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel is becoming very influential in the growing Trump administration.
BITCOIN ADVOCATE A ‘SHADOW PRESIDENT’
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Isn’t that how the saying goes? If you are a computer technology billionaire it might be beneficial to be on a first-name basis with a less-than-tech-savvy billionaire President. Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, is becoming very influential in the growing Trump administration.
Critics of the 45th American President, Donald J. Trump, have mentioned the three Goldman Sachs appointees out of the thousands of members of his administration in an effort to discredit him. The Bitcoin community should respond in kind by giving the new President credit for stocking his cabinet and transition team with tech-savvy Bitcoin advocates like Peter Thiel.
In December, the PayPal founder set up a meeting between President Trump and David Gelernter, a Yale University computer scientist and candidate for White House science adviser. Towards the end of last year, Thiel organized a meeting between Trump and several Silicon Valley tech leaders, such as Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
“Once Election Day came and went, Peter Thiel was a major force in the transition,” a senior Trump campaign aide told Politico. “When you have offices and you bring staff with you and you attend all the meetings, then you have a lot of power.”
What’s more is some of Thiel’s employees have allegedly taken to calling him “the shadow president.”
BITCOIN IS WHAT PAYPAL WAS SUPPOSED TO BE
Thiel has been a vocal advocate of Bitcoin, investing millions of his fortune into Bitcoin startups, and providing constructive criticism to its development. He has mentioned Bitcoin doing things he once dreamed PayPal would accomplish, as he hoped his company would one day be a new global digital currency platform. Bitcoin has become what he wanted PayPal to achieve, once upon a time.
“PayPal had these goals of creating a new currency,” Thiel said at The Buttonwood Gathering.
We failed at that, and we just created a new payment system. I think Bitcoin has succeeded on the level of a new currency.
THIEL’S INFLUENCE DOESN’T STOP THERE
Thiel’s influence is being felt in other facets of the Trump administration. Jim O’Neill, managing director at Thiel’s venture capital firm Mithril Capital Management, is now being considered to run the Food and Drug Administration (alongside another candidate Balaji S Srinivasan who is CEO of Bitcoin startup 21.co.).
“The fact that Jim is even in consideration for the position is astonishing,” said one associate of Thiel. “It’s legitimately an outrageous coup for Peter to be able to put somebody at that high a level of government.”
Several of his associates also took on important roles during the Trump transition, with one of his closest aides, Kevin Harrington, being elevated to the National Security Council.
This seems indicative of the fact that President Trump is someone who makes friends quickly and needs to expand on good relationships in Washington to get things done. He has virtually no experience in this capacity and he and fellow billionaire Thiel may have found each other as kindred spirits.
Along with Thiel’s connections to Bitcoin, he has been seen at Bilderberg Group meetings as well, so how this ends up panning out is unknown.
What is not up for debate is Thiel being so influential on the newest President should spell good vibrations for a healthy future of Bitcoin in America. Trump and Thiel, TNT, are not your typical Washington politicians and Bitcoin is not your typical digital currency.
Will Thiel’s advisor role affect Bitcoin regulation? Let us know in the comments below!
Image provided by Politico, qz.com