PayPal founder Peter Thiel said at the Big Tech and China seminar that China’s focus on its own cryptocurrency should be of concern to the United States.
PayPal co-founder and venture investor Peter Thiel opined Wednesday at a virtual event for the conservative Nixon Seminar on whether China is preparing another financial weapon against the United States.
The weapon Thiel says China is using? Bitcoin
“I’m kind of a pro cryptocurrency and pro Bitcoin maximalist though,” Thiel said. “I wonder if at this time Bitcoin should also be seen in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the United States, where it threatens fiat money, but especially threatens the US dollar.”
The question Thiel was answering was apparently not about Bitcoin itself, but about China’s plan to create a digital yuan. Moderator Hugh Hewitt wanted to know if the digital yuan is a “threat to the dollar and its dominance of world markets.”
Thiel’s opinion is that it is not; he dismissed the currency, which would be issued by China’s central bank, as “a kind of totalitarian measuring device.”
The real concern, Thiel said, is Bitcoin, because it is more likely to serve as a functional reserve currency. The less dominant the dollar is, the less it will be affected by US monetary and foreign policy.
“If China has a lot of Bitcoin, then perhaps from a geopolitical perspective the United States should ask itself some tougher questions about exactly how it works,” he said.
The seminar, entitled “Big Tech and China: What do we need from Silicon Valley?”, Featured former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
Pompeo agreed that a digital yuan “has a huge impact on [China’s] supervisory capacity,” although he appeared to claim that that currency itself would also allow it to conduct cross-border transactions that could circumvent US sanctions: “They want to make sure that when Secretary Pompeo issues sanctions against Iranian leaders, there is a way to buy Iranian oil. “
Thiel has invested in multiple cryptocurrency companies, such as Bitcoin mining company Layer1 Technologies and blockchain development platform Alchemy.