Billionaire investor and Bitcoin advocate Tim Draper made an unexpected visit to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to promote cryptocurrency as a weapon against corruption. Still, he faced a hostile reception from the bank’s Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe.
When Draper presented cryptocurrency to the central bank, Weerasinghe said they would not accept it. The Governor further added that Sri Lanka would never adopt cryptocurrency as a complete substitute for their currency and cautioned against its use due to the potential of exacerbating an already dire situation in the country.
During his meeting with Weerasinghe, Draper—stylishly dressed in a Bitcoin tie—asserted that Sri Lanka could benefit significantly from following El Salvador’s lead in adopting Bitcoin. He proclaimed, “A nation notorious for corruption can keep faultless records by utilizing Bitcoin.”
Nevertheless, Governor Weerasinghe stressed the need to retain their currency for independence concerning monetary policies and opined that other technologies would be suitable when providing financial services.
Sri Lanka’s economic woes
This week, while on-location shooting an episode of his “Meet the Drapers” TV show with local entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka, Tim Draper held a meeting to advocate for Bitcoin adoption passionately. He even had the opportunity to personally discuss this with President Ranil Wickremesinghe and pitch Bitcoin adoption.
This year marks Sri Lanka’s 75th anniversary of independence from Great Britain, yet, the country remains engulfed in a grave economic and political crisis that arose when it could not pay back its foreign loans totaling over $56 billion. The lack of fuel and food led to mass protests demanding change and the forced departure and resignation of former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The purported systematic corruption in Sri Lanka is considered a contributing factor to the country’s current unrest; however, those presently ruling appear reluctant to introduce Bitcoin as an answer.
In 2014, Tim Draper made headlines when he acquired about 30,000 BTC (worth around $19 million at the time) seized from Silk Road by the U.S. Marshals Service. Around that same year, in what would prove to be an incredibly accurate prediction, Draper suggested Bitcoin’s price could reach up to $10,000 within three years – and it did. In 2017 alone, we saw its value soar past the $20k mark.
Although many of Draper’s predictions have been accurate, his 2018 prediction of Bitcoin reaching $250,000 by 2022 was not. As the cryptocurrency industry entered a downtrend in November 2022, he pushed his estimate to mid-2023 and declared that it would reach its target of $250K at this time.