In his first week as president-elect of the United States, Donald Trump has started forming his transition team, with venture capitalist Peter Thiel included. But what does this mean for the tech community, and for bitcoin advocates in particular?
Thiel, co-founder of Paypal, was a rare voice in Silicon Valley who publicly supported Trump during the campaign season. After identifying as a libertarian for the majority of his adult life, Thiel joined the Republican Party, spoke at the Republican National Convention and donated $1.25 million to Trump’s campaign. When attacked with fellow technologists about his decision to support Trump, Thiel said he disagreed with the now president-elect on some of his comments, and was also quoted saying, “I am not a politician, but neither is Donald Trump.”
After making an early angel investment in Facebook in 2004, Thiel ventured into the bitcoin space via an early seed investment in payment process BitPay. Thiel’s Paypal also partnered with BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin to enable bitcoin payments on Paypal’s Payment hub.
“PayPal had these goals of creating a new currency. We failed at that, and we just created a new payment system. I think bitcoin has succeeded on the level of a new currency, but the payment system is somewhat lacking. It’s very hard to use, and that’s the big challenge on the bitcoin side,” Thiel said during the 2015 Buttonwood summit,
Since Thiel has been vocal in expressing the need for a “solid infrastructure” around digital currencies like bitcoin as a currency, it will be interesting to see how his involvement in the president-elect’s transition will help shape the team and Trump’s views on tech-related policies, including cryptocurrencies.
Current bitcoin price and trade volume
Bitcoin’s trading price climbed to $747.73 early Thursday morning, with a trade volume of close to $12.67 million.