Davos, Switzerland, Jan 26 – Billionaire investor George Soros has dismissed cryptocurrencies terming its leading currency, bitcoin, as a “typical bubble.”
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Soros, however, adds that bitcoin is likely to avoid a full crash because authoritarians would still use it to make secret investments abroad.
The Hungarian-born financier has similarly dismissed US President Donald Trump’s appeal and impact on the US economy.
“I regard it as a purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020 or even sooner.”
He described Russia’s Vladimir Putin as presiding over a “mafia state” and called Trump a “danger to the world”.
But much of the billionaire’s ire was reserved for the tech giants of Silicon Valley who, he argued, needed to be more strictly regulated.
“Facebook and Google effectively control over half of all internet advertising revenue,” the 87-year-old told diners during a speech.
“They claim that they are merely distributors of information. The fact that they are near-monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access.”
He predicted that tech giants would “compromise themselves” to access key markets like China, creating an “alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data rich IT monopolies.”
“This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined,” he warned.
Predicting governments would start to more heavily regulate the sector he said: “Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered.”
But the investor’s traditional Davos predictions do not always pan out. Last year in Switzerland he warned that the stock market rally would end after Trump’s election and that China’s growth rate was unsustainable.
China’s growth has continued while US stocks are regularly hitting record highs.