Peter Theil says older business figures are deliberately trampling on the dreams of the next generation Gareth Corfield8 April 2022
• 1:34pmBillionaire investor and Trump ally Peter Thiel has labelled Warren Buffett a “sociopathic grandpa” who is part of a “gerontocracy” trying to halt the spread of Bitcoin.
Speaking at the annual Bitcoin conference in Miami, Mr Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and counts Space X and Stripe among his investments, said older business figures including the 90-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” Mr Buffett were deliberately trampling on the dreams of the next generation.
Mr Thiel said: “I think the sociopathic grandpa from Omaha is the most honest and direct in it [trying to halt the spread of Bitcoin].
“It is the finance gerontocracy that runs the country versus a revolutionary youth movement. And we have to go out from this conference and take over the world.
”Mr Thiel displayed pictures of top businessmen to the Miami crowd, saying JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon and Larry Fink, boss of BlackRock, were part of Mr Buffett’s apparent conspiracy against Bitcoin. The executives are, according to Mr Thiel, top of his “enemies list”.
Mr Thiel made a significant part of his estimated $5.2bn (£4bn) fortune from Bitcoin through his Founders Fund firm, according to the Wall Street Journal. He was one of the longest-serving members of Facebook-owner Meta’s board until February when he quit to reportedly focus on supporting Donald Trump in November’s midterm elections.
Peter Thiel speaking at the annual Bitcoin conference CREDIT: Bloomberg
Neither Berkshire Hathaway nor JPMorgan publicly responded to the comments about their chief executives. BlackRock, however, pointed to a shareholder letter from Mr Fink dated 24 March in which he said the war in Ukraine will accelerate adoption of digital currencies in general. A global digital payment system, thoughtfully designed, can enhance the settlement of international transactions,” wrote Mr Fink.
This sits in opposition to the decentralised vision behind Bitcoin. The Government recently announced plans to make the UK “a global crypto asset technology hub”, including plans for the Royal Mint to start producing non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital images which cryptocurrency enthusiasts buy and sell amongst themselves. The price of Bitcoin barely moved in response to Mr Thiel’s comments, hovering around the £33,300 mark. At the end of March it was worth about £34,000.