Billionaire investor and Bitcoin advocate Tim Draper proposed the idea of adopting Bitcoin in a bankrupt country, Sri Lanka, during his recent visit and received the opposite reaction he expected. Sri Lanka’s central bank Governor, Nandalal Weerasinghe, believes that adopting digital assets will harm the country’s economic situation.
Tim Draper arrived in Sri Lanka this week to film an episode of his TV show “Meet the Drapers.” There he talked about the crypto industry with local entrepreneurs. During his stay, Draper also met with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday. During the close discussion, he pitched the idea of introducing Bitcoin to Sri Lanka to help solve their financial woes.
The next day, he went to the central bank with the same notion. He called for Bitcoin to be introduced as legal tender to fight corruption. During the discussion with Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe, Draper repeatedly addressed that Sri Lanka is notorious for corruption and argued that crypto is a solution.
Draper outlined the main challenge facing Sri Lanka:
“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.”
Weerasinghe, who is still struggling to solve the country’s economic problems, said the country would not accept it.
“Adoption of 100% Bitcoin won’t be a Sri Lanka reality ever.”
But Draper didn’t give up and talked about the Central American country of El Salvador. El Salvador became the first country to make bitcoin legal tender on September 7, 2021, a good example to follow. Similarly, Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, can also prevent graft by keeping accurate records after using Bitcoin, he said.
At the same time, Weerasinghe believes that having Sri Lanka’s own fiat currency is essential for the independence of monetary policy.
“We don’t want to make the crisis worse by introducing Bitcoin.”
Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis
Sri Lanka is bankrupt, says its president Wickremesinghe. The country defaulted on its national debt in May last year, causing Sri Lanka to fall into political and economic problems. In July, many people took to the streets to protest in the capital cities of Colombo and Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, and the president fled the country, which came later.
The country is currently in contact with a group of private creditors from China, India, and Japan to restructure its debt. Sri Lanka is restructuring to pay off about $51 billion of its $28 billion debt due by 2027.
According to Draper, cryptocurrency is one of humanity’s weapons against financial crises. He said people should continue exploring opportunities by investing directly in the crypto market.
Tim Draper’s Bitcoin Predictions
In 2018, Tim Draper predicted that Bitcoin would be worth $250,000 by 2022. Last year, the asset ended up well below expectations at around $16,500.
In November of last year, Draper again predicted that Bitcoin would rise to $250,000 by the end of this year, although the sudden collapse of the FTX exchange has intensified the crypto winter.
The billionaire said that the only way to do this is if several large institutions and countries start using crypto assets and people, especially women, start using crypto for everyday purchases. He said that women account for 80% of total retail spending, including food, shelter, and clothing.
“When women realize they can get a discount by paying in bitcoin or retailers realize they can double their income by accepting bitcoin, it’s going to move pretty quickly.”
According to him, women are showing interest in the crypto space as they previously held 7.14% of bitcoin wallets, but today that number has doubled to 16.6%.