Billionaire technologist, PayPal co-founder, and venture capitalist Peter Thiel recently made headlines when he called Bitcoin a Chinese financial weapon against the west during a Nixon Foundation seminar with Mike Pompeo and Robert O'Brien.
I do wonder whether at this point bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the US where it threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the US dollar and China wants to do things to weaken it
Thiel's statement was interpreted to be a criticism of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
However, Thiel specifically indicates that he is "a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist". In a recent a podcast with CSIS, Thiel indicated Bitcoin was the asset he most strongly believed in.
In mid-2017, Thiel's venture capital firm, Founders Fund, bought around $15-20 million dollars worth of Bitcoin. The holdings are now estimated to be worth somewhere in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The misinterpretation is ascribed to the misconception of what he means by "Chinese financial weapon". Thiel is simply worried that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin may substantially diminish the power of the United States dollar which serves as the world's reserve currency. Adversities such as China perceive Bitcoin as an accelerated demise of the USD. Thiel also mentioned that he believed the Euro served a similar purpose.
I think the Euro, you can think of it as in part, a Chinese weapon against the dollar. For the last decade it hasn't quite worked out that way, but China would have liked to see two reserve currencies like the Euro.
Some other additional topics Thiel covered during the Nixon Seminar concerned technology companies' associations with China along with the "outright censorship" of Donald Trump on Twitter.