In the next few years, financially distressed governments may attempt to seize a portion of people’s bitcoin if having adequate crypto turns into the most essential debate. Balaji Srinivasan, the former chief technology officer of Coinbase, has voiced alarm over the dangers that large technology companies represent to the cryptocurrency market. Srinivasan has described Apple and Google as “systemic risks” to the crypto industry. On May 19, he tweeted that the US government might use iPhones and Android devices manufactured by these two tech giants as “weapons” to compromise private keys.
According to Srinivasan, the ownership of sufficient Bitcoin by financially distressed governments might turn into a major political problem, in the same way that Twitter and Facebook played critical roles in catalyzing the Arab Spring in 2010. These social media platforms provided new avenues for communication and mobilization during that year, empowering activists and facilitating the spread of information during the uprisings that occurred across several countries in the Arab world.
Srinivasan argued that by the end of the decade, the majority of tech companies will be compelled to conform because they have no choice. The US may try to force Apple, Google, and other tech companies “to hunt for private keys” on the servers, devices, and browsers they control. This would allow the government to allocate acquired funds, providing a source of funding to a financially strapped government. Srinivasan underscored that the situation in question is not cyberterrorism but “cyberwar.”
Meanwhile, a number of people noted that crypto may require its own mobile device and suggested the recently launched Solana phone. Some questioned, however, why individuals would retain their private keys on their cellphones. Both Google and Apple stores lack end-to-end encryption, which is generally regarded as a breach of security standards.
The US and China are reportedly among the largest holders of Bitcoin and other digital assets. To put that in perspective, the US government currently possesses over $6 billion worth of the crypto. A large chunk of these bitcoins were acquired by the government through confiscation, such as in the Bitfinex hack and the Silk Road bitcoin raid.