Getty/Neilson BarnardSummary List Placement
- Billionaire Peter Thiel said bitcoin could be considered a "Chinese financial weapon."
- The digital asset threatens the US dollar, which plays into the hands of China, he said.
- Thiel called China's central bank digital currency a "totalitarian measuring device."
- Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.
"Even though I'm a pro-crypto, pro-bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether at this point bitcoin should also be thought of in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the US," the PayPal cofounder said. "It threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the US dollar and China wants to do things to weaken it."
Thiel, a Facebook board member and cofounder of Palantir Technologies, was expanding on his discussion about China not liking that the US dollar is the world's preferred reserve currency. He said if China has a long position on bitcoin, then the US should be seeking answers on its stance from a geopolitical perspective.
The Asian economy recently created its own digital currency — a cyber yuan that is controlled by its central bank. Thiel referred to it as a "totalitarian measuring device," rather than a real cryptocurrency.
The tech billionaire, who publicly supported former President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, was joined by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien at the seminar. Their discussion, hosted by the Nixon Foundation's chief executive, largely focused on big tech issues and US-China relations.
Thiel, known for his controversial views, also criticized Google and Apple for working too closely with China. He called out Google for its work on artificial intelligence, saying that the tech giant was effectively working with the Chinese military, and not the American military, according to a transcript of the event seen by CNBC.
He separately called for tighter scrutiny on Apple "because the whole iPhone supply chain gets made from China."
- A crypto founder breaks down how he secured $50 million in assets under management within 3 months of launching a VC firm — and shares how investors should approach understanding the DeFi space
- Annabelle Huang has gained over 10,200% on her first ether purchase. The partner of the billion-dollar Amber Group shares how she pivoted from traditional financial services to crypto — and 2 emerging blockchain opportunities on her radar.
- NFL player Taylor Rapp is launching an NFT collection to fight anti-Asian hate. A chief investment officer breaks down why NFTs are 'psychological assets' that could surge when a large network of people assigns value to them.