On the 3rd of February 2023, Bloomberg shared on Twitter that Siri Lanka rejected Billionaire Tim Draper’s BTC offer.
Billionaire Tim Draper tried to sell struggling Sri Lanka on Bitcoin. But things didn't exactly go as he would have liked. Here's what happened https://t.co/dJ9HTgI0S8
— Bloomberg (@business) February 3, 2023
Tim Draper is a billionaire venture capitalist and BTC enthusiast that backed major companies like Tesla, Coinbase, and Robinhood. Sometime in 2014, he purchased BTC assets that were seized by the state marshals worth $20k at the time, which are currently worth around $328k.
He visited Sri Lanka to meet with its president, Ranil Wickremesinghe to propose the value of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain tech in solving its corruption and debt crisis.
After that, he visited the president of Sri Lanka’s central bank, Nandalal Weerasinghe, to discuss the same topic. In response, Nandalal made it clear that both he and the country are not interested, as he is working to calm the current financial problems facing his country.
The country is currently facing food and fuel shortages, corruption, and riots that forced its president to flee and resign. It’s also discussing with creditors and the IMF to execute a debt-restructuring play. Aimed at rescuing the economy.
The inflation rate is at 54% and increasing by around 8% annually. To a lot of crypto enthusiasts, this is the perfect situation that calls for Bitcoin adoption to rescue the country and be a source of value immune to governmental manipulation or incompetencies.
Tim responded that Nandalal’s cold response is the worst he has received. Citing countries like El Salvador that adopted BTC as a legal tender which has allowed it to fend off defaults at the last minute. Added to that, Tim believes that implementing Blockchain tech would provide the country known as the corruption capital, a means to properly document all transactions, keeping a near-perfect record and providing transparency.
Yet Nandalal Weerasinghe views El Salvador as a cautionary tale. Though the technology would help, there are better ways to efficiently distribute finances that would allow proper inclusion and provide welfare assistance digitally. But any country that has no control or a national currency would be unable to implement monetary policies or have financial independence.
He would rather not worsen the current crisis by introducing Bitcoin technology that they aren’t ready for. In an attempt to further push the proposal, Tim began to inquire about the possible advantages that they are enjoying from having their currency. And with the current financial situation of their country, does the administration not have the guts to innovate?
Sri Lanka still maintains its stand, rejecting Tim Draper’s offer.