Billionaire investor and venture capitalist Tim Draper has reportedly tried to convince the Sri Lankan government to adopt bitcoin. However, the governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka rejected his recommendation, noting, “100% bitcoin adoption will never be a reality in Sri Lanka.“
Tim Draper suggests Sri Lanka adopt 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 film an episode of his television show “Meet the Drapers” with local entrepreneurs.
The billionaire met with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday to make the case for bitcoin’s adoption, according to Bloomberg, adding that he then visited Sri Lanka’s central bank the next day to make the same case.
Wearing a bitcoin tie, Tim Draper was quoted as saying, “I come to the central bank with a decentralized currency.“However, Sri Lanka’s central bank governor, Nandalal Weerasinghe, responded:
We don’t accept… 100% bitcoin adoption will never be a reality in Sri Lanka.
Fuel and food shortages in Sri Lanka led to riots last year. The president at the time fled the country in debt and later resigned. Sri Lanka’s key inflation rate stood at 54.2 percent in January, and last year the economy contracted by 8 percent, the governor said.
Tim Draper told the central bank chief that he is “a little worried about you guys“, stating:
Have you seen Sri Lanka in the news? It is known as the capital of corruption. 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 a legal currency alongside the U.S. dollar in September 2021.
“Does the administration have the courage to do this?“Tim Draper asked the governor of Sri Lanka’s central bank as he pushed for the adoption of bitcoin. “What’s the advantage of having your own currency?”
However, Weerasinghe responded:
We don’t want to make the crisis worse by introducing bitcoin.
Draper has proposed bitcoin adoption to several other countries and has received better responses than the Sri Lankan government and central bank. The small Pacific island nation of Palau, for example, made him the founding resident of its digital residency program.
The billionaire has long been bullish on bitcoin because of the crypto-currency’s ability to protect itself from inflation. In November last year, he predicted that Bitcoin should reach $250,000 by mid-2023.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has repeatedly warned the public about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies. In July last year, the central bank issued a notice warning that virtual currencies “are considered unregulated financial instruments and are not subject to any regulatory oversight or safeguards regarding their use in Sri Lanka.“The’authority added that it “has not given any license or authorization to any entity or company to operate systems involving virtual currencies, including cryptocurrencies.”