Peter Thiel calls Bitcoin ‘a Chinese financial weapon’ during virtual roundtable discussions

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota / Bloomberg

Peter Thiel is “pro-crypto” and “pro-Bitcoin maximalist,” but he also thinks the cryptocurrency could undermine America.

Thiel, the venture capitalist and conservative political donor, urged the U.S. government on Tuesday to consider tougher rules on cryptocurrencies. The statements seemed to signify a change of heart for Thiel, who is a major investor in virtual currency companies and in cryptocurrencies themselves.

“I wonder whether Bitcoin should also be considered at this point [of] partly as a Chinese financial weapon against the US, ”said Thiel during a performance at a virtual event for members of the Richard Nixon Foundation. “It threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the US dollar.” He added: “[If] China’s long Bitcoin, perhaps from a geopolitical perspective, the US should be asking some more difficult questions about exactly how that 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 regularly criticized US companies doing business with Beijing, and two ragged former members of the Trump administration, has largely focused on US-China relations. It was moderated by Hugh Hewitt, the talk radio host and chief executive of the Nixon Foundation. Forbes has previously reported some details of the event.