Tim Draper recently tried to “pitch” the idea of Bitcoin adoption to Sri Lanka in order to overcome the economic struggles that the latter faces
Silicon Valley mogul Tim Draper, known for his ardent advocacy of cryptocurrencies, encountered a less than warm reception when he recently pitched Bitcoin to the struggling nation of Sri Lanka. The billionaire visited the island nation to film an episode of his “Meet the Drapers” TV series with local entrepreneurs and had the opportunity to meet with President Ranil Wickremesinghe. Despite his efforts to promote the use of decentralized currency, Sri Lanka’s central bank governor, Nandalal Weerasinghe, was not convinced.
At a meeting held at the central bank, Draper wore a Bitcoin tie and made a case for the country to adopt cryptocurrency. He even brought up Sri Lanka’s reputation for corruption and argued that the adoption of Bitcoin would help to combat it. However, Governor Weerasinghe was unyielding in his rejection of Draper’s proposal, stating that 100% adoption of Bitcoin would never become a reality in Sri Lanka.
In comparison to other locations, Draper’s reception in Sri Lanka was significantly cooler. For instance, the tiny island nation of Palau named Draper as the founding resident of its digital residency program. Despite this, Draper remained persistent and pressed the governor, asking if the administration had the courage to take the necessary steps to adopt Bitcoin.
The governor responded by pointing out that other technologies are more effective in distributing financial services and promoting financial inclusion, and that a country without its own currency cannot have monetary policy independence. He concluded that the introduction of Bitcoin would only serve to worsen the already dire financial crisis.
Draper Remains Optimistic
Draper, a venture capitalist and early investor in companies like Tesla, Baidu, Skype, Coinbase, and Robinhood, made headlines in 2014 when he acquired seized Bitcoin at a US Marshals Service auction. Despite the current low value of Bitcoin, hovering in the low $20,000s, Draper remains optimistic, predicting that its value will reach $250,000 this year.
The meeting between Draper and Weerasinghe lasted only 30 minutes, with the governor resolute in his stance against the adoption of Bitcoin in Sri Lanka. Despite this setback, Draper’s advocacy for cryptocurrency continues to draw attention and spark debate, with proponents hailing its potential as a stable store of value, unencumbered by government or central bank policy.
In conclusion, Draper’s recent foray into Sri Lanka highlights the ongoing challenges faced by cryptocurrency advocates, as they work to gain widespread acceptance for decentralized currency in a world still largely dominated by traditional financial systems. Despite the frosty reception in Sri Lanka, Draper remains steadfast in his belief that the future of money lies in cryptocurrency, and that it has the potential to revolutionize the way we transact and store value.