Speaking at a virtual event for the conservative Nixon Seminar, PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel opined openly on whether China is set to win a financial arms raise with the US.
"I'm sort of a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist," Thiel said. "I do wonder if at this point Bitcoin should also be thought of in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the US. It threatens fiat money but it especially threatens the US dollar."
“Even though I'm a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether if at this point Bitcoin should also be thought of in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.” says @Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel.
— Richard Nixon Foundation (@nixonfoundation) April 7, 2021
The question Thiel was ostensibly answering wasn't about Bitcoin per se, but about China's plan to create a digital yuan. Was this a "threat to the dollar and its dominance of world markets?" moderator Hugh Hewitt wanted to know.
Thiel's view is that it isn't; he dismissed the coin, which would be issued by the country's central bank, as "some sort of a totalitarian measuring device."
The real concern, Thiel said, is Bitcoin because it's more likely to serve as a functional reserve currency. The less pervasive the dollar is, the less effected it is by American monetary and foreign policy.
"If China’s long Bitcoin, then perhaps from a geopolitical perspective the U.S. should be asking some tougher questions about exactly how that works," he said.
The seminar, titled "Big Tech and China: What Do We Need from Silicon Valley?," also included former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien.
Pompeo agreed that a digital yuan "has a huge impact for [China's] surveillance capacity," though he seemed to assert that such a coin itself would also allow it to make cross-border transactions that could skirt US sanctions: "They want to make sure that when Secretary Pompeo issues sanctions against the Iranian leadership, that there is a way to purchase Iranian oil."
Thiel has invested in multiple crypto ventures including Bitcoin mining company Layer1 Technologies and blockchain development platform Alchemy.
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