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Why did Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, take aim at the current state of Bitcoin?

The businessman suggested that this cryptocurrency is no longer independent from state power. In a conversation with VOZ, cryptocurrency specialist Marcelo Fleischer backed up Thiel's statements and clarified that Bitcoin (BTC) is not the only version, and that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) maintains the original project: digital cash from person to person.

Peter ThielSAUL LOEB / AFP

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PayPal co-founder and former CEO Peter Thiel criticized the current operation of Bitcoin (BTC) in an interview with CNBC. While he stated that he still owns units of the cryptocurrency and regrets not buying more, he argued that Bitcoin has not turned out to be as "rebel" as he had hoped and that he does not believe the price will increase "dramatically" from now on.

The billionaire, founder of venture capital Founders Fund, expressed, "The part where I’m less convinced is this question of the sort of ideological founding vision of Bitcoin or these cryptocurrencies as sort of a cypherpunk, crypto-anarchist, libertarian, anti-centralized government thing." Thiel maintained that it was just that which he thought was "terrific" about this cryptocurrency when he first learned about it.

However, the investor indicated that he now questions, "Does it really work that way?" He continued: "When people in the FBI tell me that they'd much rather have criminals use bitcoin than $100 bills it suggests that maybe it's not quite working the way it was supposed to." 

'If you don't use it [Bitcoin], in the long run it dies'

Speaking to VOZ, Marcelo Fleischer, founder of elbitcoin.org, the first Spanish-language Bitcoin disclosure site, and host of the "No Free Lunch" podcast, praised Thiel, who, Fleischer noted, made his fortune because of his ability to "anticipate trends."

Fleischer noted that the entrepreneur founded PayPal in order to have competition of currencies, allowing people to exchange them over the internet and, thus forcing states, used to destroying currencies, "to compete." 

However, the cryptocurrency expert stated that no such initiative worked because "they were co-opted or destroyed" by the authorities.

Fleischer stressed that Bitcoin (BTC), the best-known version of this cryptocurrency, distanced from the original project of its creator, the unknown Satoshi Nakamoto, who pointed out that it was to be used as person-to-person digital cash. In this way, this cryptocurrency could be used to transfer value without being "easily attacked" by governments.

Therefore, argued Fleischer, Thiel's statements may "mark a turning point," as the entrepreneur is still interested in Bitcoin, but "as it was designed." Today, however, the entrepreneur understands that this cryptocurrency has been co-opted, Fleischer added.

"For him it is no longer what he saw at the time, and therefore he no longer sees so much potential in it," the specialist stressed. He added that "fortunately," BTC is not the only version of Bitcoin, but there are others, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) being the most important of them that still maintains the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto, so users can make fast transactions and at almost zero cost.

"There is a lot of interest placed on Bitcoin BTC being seen as the only version, and it is no coincidence because it is the only dysfunctional version," Fleischer maintained. And he stressed that, in this way, "there are people who are calm" because this cryptocurrency "no longer represents a threat."

Fleischer said that for regular transactions, BTC supporters suggest using intermediaries, custodians, such as exchange-traded funds, which means that the blockchain is not used, while maintaining high transaction fees, which damages Bitcoin. However, the specialist stated that there are people who are realizing what is happening, such as Peter Thiel.

"If you don't use [Bitcoin], in the long run it dies," Fleischer said.