Sri Lanka against Bitcoin adoption, rejects Draper’s anti-corruption pitch

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On a recent visit to Sri Lanka, American billionaire Tim Draper pitched the idea of adopting Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal tender to fight against the corruption that contributed to hyperinflation in the island country. However, a key Sri Lankan authority — central bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe — believed doing so would worsen the country’s economic situation.

Taking time from a TV shoot in Sri Lanka, Draper met President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Weerasinghe to recommend Bitcoin as a viable option for getting out of financial problems.

Tim Draper in Sri Lanka speaking about economic development. Source: YouTube

During the meeting, Draper pointed out a key concern staring right at 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.”

As he recommended using “decentralized currency” to the head of Sri Lanka’s central bank, he received a short “we don’t accept” reply. Weerasinghe further stated:

“Adoption of 100% Bitcoin won’t be a Sri Lanka reality ever.”

Instead, Weerasinghe believed that having Sri Lanka’s own fiat currency was critical for monetary-policy independence and would ensure efficient inclusion and disburse electronic welfare payments.

“We don’t want to make the crisis worse by introducing Bitcoin,” Weerasinghe concluded.

Related: Australia introduces classification for crypto assets

MicroStrategy, a software analytics company co-founded by Michael Saylor, shared plans to continue offering BTC trading services despite incurring an unrealized loss of $1.3 billion in 2022.

During a Feb. 2 earnings call, MicroStrategy’s chief financial officer, Andrew Kang, said:

“We may consider pursuing additional transactions that may take advantage of the volatility in Bitcoin prices, or other market dislocations that are consistent with our long-term Bitcoin strategy.”

According to Kang, MicroStrategy held 132,500 BTC (worth $1.84 billion) as of Dec. 31, 2022. Of the lot, 14,890 BTC were held directly by the business and the rest by its subsidiary MacroStrategy.