Peter Thiel is a “cryptocurrency supporter” and a “maximalist when it comes to bitcoin“, But he also believes that cryptocurrency could undermine America’s global dominance. Thiel, a venture capitalist and conservative political donor, in a speech on Tuesday urged the US government to consider tougher cryptocurrency regulations.
PayPal Co-Founder and Facebook Board Member Peter Thiel delivers a speech on the US presidential election at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, October 31, 2016 REUTERS / Gary Cameron
These statements seemed to reflect a change in the views of Thiel, who is a major investor in virtual currency ventures as well as cryptocurrencies themselves.
“I’m wondering if bitcoin should be viewed at this stage as part of China’s financial weapon against the United States,” Thiel said during a virtual event held for members of the Richard Nixon Foundation. “It threatens paper money, but especially the US dollar.” He added: “[Если] China has a long position on bitcoin, perhaps from a geopolitical point of view, the US should ask tougher questions about how exactly it works. “
Thiel 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 from the former Trump administration, focused mainly on US-China relations. The moderator was Hugh Hewitt, TV host and executive director of the Nixon Foundation. Earlier, Forbes reported some details of this event.
During his speech, Thiel elaborated on previous criticism of Google Alphabet Inc., which in a 2019 speech he accused of working against American interests. On Tuesday, he added that he pressured the company’s AI staff to see if 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 said. equated to genocide.
The answer, as Thiel said, was: “Well, we don’t know the truth – and we don’t ask any unnecessary questions.” Thiel continued, “You have an almost magical mindset: by pretending everything is okay, you start communicating and talking.”
China denies mistreatment of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang. Google said in a statement that the company does not work with the Chinese military and is “proud to continue our long history of working with the US government, including the Department of Defense, in many areas, including cybersecurity, recruitment and healthcare.”
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 suggested that the authorities turn their close attention to a US tech company like Apple Inc., noting that it manufactures most of its devices in China, where labor standards are lower than those in the US and Europe.
“Apple is probably the only technology company which is structurally a real 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 accused of “incredible identity theft.” Thiel noted that if TikTok is banned, it is likely to be replaced by similar applications, as happened in India.
“I don’t think it was a huge, colossal loss” for India, he said.
His views on TikTok coincide with those of Facebook Inc., where Thiel sits 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 company should not take the side of Hong Kong … And the rest of the Facebook employees, as it were, did not interfere with this. “
Thiel also criticized Facebook – along with other tech companies – for “abandoning the platform for President Trump,” referring to the company’s decision to bar President Donald Trump from commenting on the event, accusing him of inciting 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 feels like you’ve really crossed some Rubicon.”
An appearance with Pompeo could have implications for the 2024 presidential race. The former secretary of state is widely regarded 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 Trump supporter in 2016 and recently donated $ 10 million to the PAC, supporting the potential Senate nomination of J.D. Vance, a writer and conservative politician who previously worked for the Thiel-backed venture capital fund.