Thiel's Latest Speech Exposes Elite Hypocrisy Around Crypto
The Silicon Valley king reiterates his agenda at Bitcoin's premier conference
Celebrating the rise of the latest form of private money not to be swiftly quelled by nation-state powers, Bitcoin’s global community descended on Miami last week for a “pumptastic” convention. After posing in front of a futuristic version of Wall Street’s Charging Bull, the crypto giant’s most loyal fans, promoters, developers, and shills entered the main hall of the Miami Beach Conference Center, to listen to a range of speeches confirming their long-standing prophecy: Bitcoin will become the future of money — and it might make them rich for doing the least amount of toil in the process.
Two days in, on April 7th, it was Silicon Valley king Peter Thiel’s turn to promote Bitcoin’s prominent agenda of separating money from state power. Since Thiel has said in the past that he no longer believes “freedom and democracy are compatible,” it’s no surprise his speech was instantly controversial. After calling fellow billionaires Blackrock CEO Larry Fink, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett members of a “finance gerontocracy,” Thiel went on, as expected, to also lament the Federal Reserve, specifically head honcho Jerome Powell. The latter actors have become the primary adversaries of not only Thiel but Bitcoin devotees — as a recent graphic by Bitcoin Magazine, showing a fiery asteroid about to collide with the Fed’s Eccles Building, so vehemently illustrated.
Anyone who’s studied up on Thiel’s past, though, will undoubtedly find his ongoing distaste for state institutions somewhat hypocritical. In an article for Jacobin, Paris Marx reveals that Thiel was one of the various soon-to-be tech oligarchs who held neoliberal views contra to the supposed Silicon Valley liberal stereotype, a mismatch which came to be known as the Californian Ideology. In 1999, for instance, shortly after declaring that his newly created PayPal would “tear down the financial establishment,” Thiel quickly backtracked and complied with government regulation at the very first hurdle. It was only after he started following the rules that his empire and subsequent wealth began to take off.
Thiel, of course, is by no means the only elite to hold an insincere stance on regulation if it benefits them financially, especially when it comes to cryptocurrency. In fact, the fellow billionaires he criticized in his latest Bitcoin speech have openly displayed resentment for crypto, yet have also discreetly jumped on the bandwagon.
Warren Buffett, after calling Bitcoin “rat poison squared” had no trouble investing in a billion-dollar Brazilian startup providing crypto services. Meanwhile, Larry Fink, in his latest letter to shareholders, welcomed both unregulated stablecoins and state-issued CBDCs (central bank digital currencies). As for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, despite his various dunks on cryptocurrency, he’s allowed his megabank to create various blockchain products, even selling some on to members of the crypto elite. The most prominent example was a deal that anyone peddling the crypto liberation narrative would have wanted to remain out of the spotlight: the sale of JPMorgan’s Quorum blockchain to ConsenSys Inc, a company established and run by Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin.
It’s clear now that the level of crypto duplicity within the billionaire class is now mooning harder than a run-of-the-mill sh*tcoin. Despite their most overt objections, the hidden lure of bypassing lawful boundaries through crypto has become too tempting. Voracious financiers, as usual, can’t keep their hands off the rising number of technological tools that enable them to sidestep societal laws and regulations to enrich themselves. And whether or not they care to admit it, crypto has become their preferred means to do so.
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