Billionaire Tim Draper Urges Sri Lanka to Adopt Bitcoin — Central Bank Says ‘We Don’t Want to Make the Crisis Worse’
Billionaire investor and venture capitalist Tim Draper has reportedly attempted to convince the Sri Lankan government to adopt bitcoin. However, the governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka rejected his recommendation, emphasizing: “Adoption of 100% bitcoin won’t be a Sri Lanka reality ever.”
Tim Draper Suggests Sri Lanka Adopts Bitcoin
Billionaire investor and venture capitalist Tim Draper reportedly tried to convince the Sri Lankan government and central bank to adopt bitcoin during his visit to the south Asian country earlier this week to shoot an episode of his “Meet the Drapers” TV show with local entrepreneurs.
The billionaire met with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe Tuesday to pitch bitcoin adoption, Bloomberg reported, adding that he then visited the Sri Lankan central bank the next day with the same pitch.
Wearing a bitcoin tie, Draper was quoted as saying: “I come to the central bank with decentralized currency.” However, Sri Lankan Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe replied:
We don’t accept … Adoption of 100% bitcoin won’t be a Sri Lanka reality ever.
Sri Lanka’s fuel and food shortages led to riots last year. The president at the time fled the debt-ridden country and later resigned. Sri Lanka’s key inflation rate stood at 54.2% in January, and last year the economy contracted by 8%, the governor detailed.
Draper told the central bank chief that he is “a little worried about you guys,” elaborating:
Have you seen Sri Lanka in the news? It’s known as the corruption capital. A country known for corruption will be able to keep perfect records with the adoption of bitcoin.
The billionaire VC continued to try to convince Weerasinghe during their 30-minute meeting. He even cited El Salvador, which became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar in September 2021.
“Does the administration have the guts to do it?” Draper asked the Sri Lankan central bank governor as he pushed for bitcoin adoption. “What’s the advantage of having your own currency?”
However, Weerasinghe replied:
We don’t want to make the crisis worse by introducing bitcoin.
Draper has pitched bitcoin adoption to several other countries and received better responses than he did from the Sri Lankan government and central bank. The tiny island country of Palau in the Pacific, for example, made him the founding resident of its digital-residency program.
The billionaire has long been bullish about bitcoin due to the cryptocurrency’s trait as a hedge against inflation. In November last year, he predicted that BTC should hit $250K by mid-2023.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has cautioned the public several times about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies. In July last year, the central bank published a notice warning that virtual currencies “are considered as unregulated financial instruments and have no regulatory oversight or safeguards relating to their usage in Sri Lanka.” The authority added that it “has not given any license or authorization to any entity or company to operate schemes involving virtual currencies, including cryptocurrencies.”
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