Leading cryptocurrency advocate and billionaire investor Tim Draperduring his visit to Sri Lanka met with an unexpected response.
The Silicon Valley entrepreneur faced backlash in his country for filming an episode of the TV show Meet the Draper and promoting widespread adoption of Bitcoin. According to the report published by Bloomberg, Tim Draper’s proposal was not well received by the country’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe, who is currently focused on stabilizing the country’s finances.
Tim Draper Couldn’t Convince Sri Lanka
During his meeting with Governor Weerasinghe, Draper insisted on efforts to promote cryptocurrency adoption. He asked whether the management had the courage to undertake such a project and highlighted the benefits of having a private currency. Draper, in his speech expressing his concerns for the country, underlined that the financial crisis is a unique opportunity for Sri Lanka. He argued that the adoption of Bitcoin could help mitigate corruption by keeping an accurate record of transactions.
But Governor Weerasinghe pointed out that other technologies could effectively provide financial services and social assistance payments to underserved populations. He also stated that a country without its own currency cannot have monetary independence and using Bitcoin in a crisis could potentially make the situation worse.
Draper wearing a Bitcoin tie “I am coming to the Central Bank with decentralized currency” Despite his self-confident speech, his ideas were not embraced during the meeting at the central bank. This was a colder welcome for Draper than elsewhere. For example, the Pacific island nation of Palau had made him the first person to join the digital residency program.
Sri Lankan Economic Crisis
Riots broke out in Sri Lanka last year due to fuel and food shortages, causing the then-president to step down and eventually flee the country. The debt-ridden country is now in debt restructuring talks with foreign creditors in hopes that the International Monetary Fund will devise a bailout plan. The governor reported that inflation was 54.2 percent and economic growth fell to 8 percent last year.