Tim Draper Bitcoin pitch gets cold shoulder at Sri Lanka Central Bank

By Jay Speakman

COLOMBO – Billionaire investor and Bitcoin evangelist Tim Draper visited the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to promote Bitcoin as a solution to combat corruption. Despite Draper’s efforts, Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe showed a cold reception and rejected the idea of adopting Bitcoin.

Draper, dressed in a Bitcoin-themed tie, stated to Weerasinghe, “I come to the Central Bank with decentralized currency.” To which the Governor responded, “We don’t accept.” The Governor further added that the adoption of 100% Bitcoin would not be a reality in Sri Lanka, stating that the country doesn’t want to worsen the crisis by introducing the cryptocurrency.

Draper argued that with the adoption of Bitcoin, a country known for corruption would have the ability to keep a perfect record. However, Weerasinghe emphasized that having its own currency was crucial for Sri Lanka’s monetary policy independence, and other technologies could serve the purpose of distributing financial services. Draper also made the case for Bitcoin adoption during his meeting with Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Sri Lanka is currently facing a major economic and political crisis, marked by fuel and food shortages, mass protests, and default on foreign loans. Systemic corruption is believed to be one of the major reasons behind the country’s descent into chaos, but those ruling the country today seem to be opposed to the idea of introducing Bitcoin as a possible solution.

In 2014, Draper made a significant investment in Bitcoin, buying 30,000 BTC, worth $19 million, seized from the dark web drug marketplace Silk Road in an auction held by the US Marshals Service. That same year, he predicted that the price of Bitcoin would reach $10,000 in three years, which came true in 2017 when Bitcoin surpassed $20,000. However, not all of Draper’s predictions have come to fruition. In 2018, he argued that Bitcoin would reach $250,000 by 2022, which he later extended to mid-2023.


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