Peter Thiel is a “cryptocurrency proponent” and a “bitcoin maximalist”, but he also believes that cryptocurrency could undermine America.
Thiel, a venture capitalist and conservative political donor, in a speech on Tuesday urged the US government to consider tougher cryptocurrency regulations. These statements seemed to reflect a change in the mindset of Thiel, who is a major investor in virtual currency ventures as well as cryptocurrencies themselves.
“I really wonder if I should be thinking about Bitcoin at this point. [of] partly as a financial weapon of China against the US, ”Thiel said during a virtual event for members of the Richard Nixon Foundation. “It threatens paper money, but especially the US dollar.” He added: “[If] China’s long bitcoin, perhaps from a geopolitical perspective, the US should ask tougher questions about exactly how it works. “
Teal was joined by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. The conversation between Thiel, who has often criticized American companies doing business with Beijing, and the two hawks who were former members of the Trump administration, focused mainly on US-China relations. The moderator was Hugh Hewitt, TV host and executive director of the Nixon Foundation. Previously, Forbes reported some of the details of the event.
During the call, Thiel elaborated on previous criticism of Google Alphabet Inc., which he accused of working against American interests. in speech 2019… On Tuesday, he added that he pressured the company’s AI staff to report whether their technology was being used in China’s Xinjiang region, where the US said the country was holding ethnic Uyghurs in internment camps, which some US officials say is to genocide. The answer, Thiel said, was, “Well, we really don’t know — and we don’t ask any questions.” Thiel continued, “You have an almost magical mindset: by pretending everything is okay, you start communicating and talking.” China has denied the mistreatment of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang, and Google has said it does not work with the Chinese military.
Thiel, who dramatically left Silicon Valley in 2018, complaining that it had become a “one-party state,” did not confine himself to criticizing Google. He proposed that Apple Inc. be included in US research by American tech companies, noting that the company manufactures most of its devices in China, where labor standards are lower than those in the US and Europe. “Apple is probably the only [tech company] this is a real structural problem “for US interests,” he said. “Apple is the kind of company that really interacts with China.”
Thiel also invited the US to follow India’s lead in banning TikTok, a social app owned by Chinese company ByteDance Ltd., which he called “this kind of incredible theft of people data.” Thiel noted that if banned, TikTok is likely to replace similar apps. how did it happen in India… “I don’t think it looked like a huge, colossal loss” in India, he said.
TikTok’s comments match posts from Facebook Inc., where Thiel is on the board of directors. Facebook presented TikTok as a threat to US values. But Thiel also criticized Facebook for cultivating what he called “awakening politics,” noting that the company refused to take a firm stand during the protests in Hong Kong last year. “Facebook had more Chinese-born employees than Hong Kong,” he said. “And the citizens of China actually said that, you know, it was just arrogance of the West, and [the company] you shouldn’t take the side of Hong Kong … And the rest of Facebook employees didn’t interfere in this matter. ”
Thiel also criticized Facebook – along with other tech companies – for “abandoning President Trump’s platform,” referring to the company’s decision. prohibit President Donald Trump for instigating the storming of the US Capitol on January 6. “There was direct censorship,” Thiel said. “And when you do this with the President of the United States, it seems that you have really crossed some kind of Rubicon.”
An appearance with Pompeo could have implications for the 2024 presidential race. The former secretary of state is widely viewed as a possible Republican nominee, and Thiel made it clear that he is ready to support figures closely associated with Trump. He was a major sponsor of Trump in 2016 and recently donated $ 10 million to the PKK, supporting the potential Senate nomination of J.D. Vance, a writer and conservative politician who previously worked for the Thiel-backed venture capital fund.
(Updates lede with context and adds video.)