It ended with an enemies list.
It was a moment in history.
Peter Thiel’s 20-minute keynote at the Bitcoin 2022 Conference (#bitcoin2022) gave the vast audience an uncompromising no-holds barred survey of the current monetary landscape, but it ended up sounding like a declaration of war.
Peter Thiel Talks History, Gold, and Crypto
Before Thiel appeared, the convention played a video of him from 1999, back when he was starting PayPal. In the video, he accurately predicted how payments would evolve with smartphones – technology not in use in the USA at that time.
Then Peter walked on stage to rapturous applause. He threw some hundred dollar bills into the audience, producing enough of a scramble to show that fiat is not quite dead.
Following that he presented a thesis that #bitcoin is the modern equivalent of gold.
He traced the ratio of gold to the entire equity market back to 1970, when the ratio was roughly 1:1 and predicted that Bitcoin will achieve the same in the future – meaning it will go up enormously. He even postulated a 100x increase, which the audience loved.
Peter next introduced the idea of value and velocity.
He explained how monetary assets like gold and Bitcoin have very little velocity but high value. With other assets, like Visa and Ethereum (and by extension Paypal), velocity is so high that very little is needed in absolute terms.
He concluded that Ethereum will end up as a payments system, while Bitcoin will become a store of value.
An Enemies List for the Crypto Age
Then the fun part began: Thiel rolled out his enemies list.
He presented three categories, the first of which was a ruling “financial gerontocracy,” featuring Warren Buffet, Jamie Diamond, and Larry Fink, who want to stay in control.
The second was governments and the “woke corporations” Thiel claims they control (and, yes, he repeatedly called them “woke corporations”). In fact, he suggested that all public corporations end up government-controlled to some extent.
Lastly, the biggest enemy of all is ESG (Environment, Sustainability, and Governance) which he equated with the Chinese Communist Party (and he made this point more than once). The defining struggle lies between these enemies and the more youthful supporters of freedom and Bitcoin.
And there it ended.
Conclusions from Thiel’s Keynote Address
What should we make of it all?
I doubt the people who showed up expected such a high-powered firehose-blast of incredibly important ideas and a vision for the future. It was a lot to take in, but the audience response transcended mere enthusiasm.
Nobody came prepared for a declaration of war, either–or perhaps it would be better referred to as the crystallization of what people feel is really happening. Yet that was what they got.
Thiel has named his enemies, and by doing so, named himself as their enemy. A response can be expected.
But this won’t end quickly, and none of us are on the sidelines munching popcorn. We will all be caught up in what may become an existential struggle for the soul of our civilization with crypto as the standard rallying point.
Peter Thiel predicted the future back in 1999 with PayPal and smartphones. The question we must ask now is, did he do it again?
When it comes to predicting the future, it may be worth asking if crypto is a good hedge against inflation, even given the risks involved.
Want to be on the frontlines of Peter Thiel’s war? Maybe a new career as a blockchain engineer is a good starting point. But before you make that leap, here are Five Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Blockchain Engineer.