Bitcoin ‘a Chinese financial weapon,’ says Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel is ‘procrypto’ and ‘pro-Bitcoin maximalist,’ but he also thinks the cryptocurrency may be undermining America. Thiel, the venture capitalist and conservative political donor, urged the US government to consider tighter regulations on cryptocurrencies in an appearance on Tuesday. The 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.

“I do wonder whether at this point, Bitcoin should also be thought [of] in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the US,” Thiel said during an appearance at a virtual event held for members of the Richard Nixon Foundation. “It threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the US dollar.” He added: “[If] China’s long Bitcoin, perhaps from a geopolitical perspective, the US should be asking some tougher questions about exactly how that works.”

Thiel was joined by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. The conversation between Thiel, who has frequently criticised American companies that do business with Beijing, and two hawkish former members of the Trump administration, was largely focused on U.S.-China relations. It was moderated by Hugh Hewitt, the talk radio host and the chief executive of the Nixon Foundation. Forbes previously reported some details of the event.

During the talk, Thiel expanded upon previous criticism of Alphabet Inc’s Google, which he accused of working against American interests in a 2019 speech. On Tuesday, he added that he’d pressed employees in the company’s artificial intelligence division about whether their technology was being used in China’s Xinjiang region, where the US says the country has detained ethnic Uyghurs in internment camps, which some U.S. officials have said amounts to genocide.