Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel has suggested that Bitcoin should be treated as a “Chinese financial weapon”, describing the cryptocurrency is a threat to US global power.
The Silicon Valley mega-investor said the US should ask “tougher questions” about the rise of Bitcoin, which he warned could undermine the US dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.
The remarks, made during a panel discussion at the Richard Nixon Foundation with Donald Trump’s former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, cut against Mr Thiel’s continued support for Bitcoin and his substantial investments in cryptocurrency start-ups.
However, they built on a history of aggressive statements about China and US companies that work there, such as his 2019 suggestion that Google had been “thoroughly infiltrated” by Chinese intelligence agents, for which he did not give evidence.
Mr Thiel said: “I think the Euro, you can think of as in part a Chinese weapon against the dollar. The last decade has not worked out that way, but China would have liked to see the two reserve currencies like the Euro.
“Even though I’m sort of a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether at this point Bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the US.
“It threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the US dollar, and China wants to do things to weaken it. So China is long Bitcoin, and perhaps from a geopolitical perspective, the US should be asking some tougher questions about exactly how that works.”